Graduation Year

2016

Degree

M.A.

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Degree Granting Department

Anthropology

Major Professor

Thomas J. Pluckhahn, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Robert H. Tykot, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Nancy Marie White, Ph.D.

Keywords

Bone Tools, Crystal River, Florida Archaeology, Shell Midden, Shell tools, Stone Tools

Abstract

The examination of the tools that prehistoric people crafted for subsistence and related practices offers distinctive insights into how they lived their lives. Most often, researchers study these practices in isolation, by tool type or by material. However, by using a relational perspective, my research explores the tool assemblage as a whole including bone, stone and shell. This allows me to study the changes in tool industries in relation to one another, something that I could not accomplish by studying only one material or tool type. I use this broader approach to tool manufacture and use for the artifact assemblage from Crystal River (8CI1) and Roberts Island (8CI41), two sequential Middle and Late Woodland Period (A.D. 1-1050) archaeological sites on the central Gulf coast of Florida. The results of my research show that people made different choices, both in the type of material they used and the kind of tools they manufactured during the time they lived at these sites as subsistence practices shifted. Evidence of these trends aligns with discrete changes in strata within our excavations. The timing of depositional events and the artifacts found within each suggest people also used the sites differently through time. These trends exemplify the role of crafting tools in the way people maintain connections with their mutable social and physical world.

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