Lithic Raw Materials Analysis
Jared Pebworth is conducting an experimental study of local and non local raw material variability within the Arkansas River valley and its tributaries. The results will provide a framework for the analysis of stone tools recovered from excavations at Carden bottom phase sites. River cobbles were used extensively by Carden Bottoms phase tool makers and may be the preferred choice for raw materials used to manufacture small bifaces, such as Nodena, Collier, and Washita arrow points as well as thumbnail scrapers and other small tools. Pebworth is examining preferences within the varied chert types found in river cobbles. The variability of chert types in cobble form is very broad. Cobbles collected from riverine gravel deposits in our study represent a wide variety of exotic cherts from Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and possibly as far west as the Rocky Mountains, in addition to all of the varieties found in the Ozarks and the Ouachitas. Since all of these cherts are readily available from gravel deposits found along the Arkansas River, the presence of exotic cherts in Carden Bottoms phase tool assemblages may not reflect long-distance trade or exchange. This study will aid our interpretations of lithic resource availability and procurement strategies in the central Arkansas River Valley.