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Central Plains Archeology


Volume 11, Number 1 (2009): 73pages

The Plunkett Site: A 1930s Goshen Discovery in Northwest Nebraska
by Steven R. Holen

During the 1930s, University of Nebraska State Museum paleontology crews were actively recording Paleoindian projectile points and conducting excavations at Paleoindian sites in Nebraska. Fieldwork in northwest Nebraska recorded several sites containing Paleoindian cultural materials and numerous "Yuma" projectile points from private collections. Recent research utilizing these early collections indicates the first discovery of a Goshen cultural complex site was made, although not recognized, in 1935. The Plunkett site extends the distribution of Goshen sites eastward into Nebraska and demonstrates the importance of reanalyzing old collections.


Preliminary Report on Structural Wood Use at Pawnee Indian Village (14RP1),
Republic County, Kansas
by Nicholas V. Kessler

An analysis of structural wood remains from Pawnee Indian Village revealed a clear preference for Quercus macrocarpa as earthlodge support posts. Salix/Populus is most frequently present in house fill and probably represents a variety of other structural elements, as well as posts, furniture, and other household objects. Ulmus americana, Ulmus rubra, Fraxinus, Acer, and Celtis constitute a smaller percentage of posts and other structural remains. Based on a cursory review of historic and modern records of the local and regional forest composition, anthropogenic depletion of key species such as Quercus may have resulted from the systematic, valley-wide use of this resource.


100° W Longitude: Exploring Cultural Dynamics at the Western Edge of the Central Plains Tradition
by Donna C. Roper

The Upper Republican culture (now phase) was originally defined in the 1930s as a late prehistoric horticultural earthlodge village culture of southwestern Nebraska. Even then, though, sites with similar artifact assemblages but no traces of agriculture, earthlodges, or villages were being recorded farther west in Nebraska, and in western Kansas, southeastern Wyoming, and northeastern Colorado. The relation between these two classes of sites has been debated ever since. I suggest that none of the various models posited to account for this relation have any theoretical underpinnings and that we really do not know what changes west of the westernmost horticulture and lodge sites. I then propose another scenario based on a recognition of the environmental gradient across the area occupied by Upper Republican sites and my previously- published view of the nature of the Central Plains tradition adaptation. Although not intended to fully evaluate this proposition, I examine several lines of evidence for their consistency with it, using data from sites in the Medicine Creek valley of southwestern Nebraska and from western Kansas. These include variation in house form, pottery decoration, pottery clay sources, lithic raw materials, and lodge abandonment signatures.


The Ceramic Assemblage from 25FT162, Frontier County, Nebraska
by Terry L. Steinacher

In 1986 the Nebraska Archaeological Society under the sponsorship of Cecil Williams and Les Hosick conducted an excavation on a site (25FT162) located adjacent to Medicine Creek and north of Stockville, Nebraska. The excavation uncovered a Central Plains tradition earthlodge and associated sheet midden. This paper reports on the ceramic assemblage recovered from that excavation. Comparisons of the house and midden area indicate that they are directly related. Ceramic stylistic comparisons suggest that the site is more closely related to certain Itskari phase sites than the more commonly found classic Upper Republican phase sites in the Medicine Creek locality.


Book Review: Kansas Archaeology by Robert J. Hoard and William E. Banks, editors
by William T. Billeck

It has been many years since Waldo Wedel's 1959 Introduction to Kansas Archeology and Patricia O'Brien 1984 popularly oriented Archaeology in Kansas. This new comprehensive assessment of Kansas Archaeology edited by Robert J. Hoard and William E. Banks is a timely and needed addition for Plains scholars. Wedel's book has been used for years, and while his descriptions of the archaeological investigations that he led will continue to be of great importance, knowledge of Kansas' cultural past has greatly progressed, as this volume demonstrates.

Kansas Archaeology begins with a foreword by Alfred Johnson, which provides a brief history on how archaeology in Kansas was and is now conducted. He makes the point ............






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