Title

THE ANANGULA LITHIC TECHNOLOGICAL SYSTEM: AN APPRAISAL OF EASTERN ALEUTIAN TECHNOLOGY CIRCA 8250-8750 B.P.

Date of Completion

January 1982

Keywords

Anthropology, Archaeology

Degree

Ph.D.

Abstract

Analytical formats employed in the analysis of archeological materials, specifically lithics, take many forms. It is suggested that the lithic implements and debris of any assemblage reveal much concerning the manipulation of physical principles during the past. Physical principles, being time transgressive, are thought to be directly testable via experimentation while principles or human behavior, being contingency bound, are not. Accordingly, the comparison of archeological materials in terms of responses to physical constraints and opportunities is viewed as a reasonable path for future archeological analyses.^ Examination focuses upon the 1970 field season collection from the Anangula blade site in the Aleutian Islands, Alaska. The Anangula blade site, dated to the early Holocene, is located upon the former margin of the Bering Land Bridge. The site is characterized by an intensive occupation and is noted to possess a somewhat unique technological configuration, focusing upon the production of blades and burins. This analysis suggests that the Anangula format is characterized by the sacrifice of lithic material in favor of the saving of energy during implement manufacture. Standardized implements are produced with minimal expenditure of energy. Implements, with the exception of burins, are subject to little or no curation as the technological format, producing fresh implements with less energy expenditure than curation would cost, emphasizes the disposable nature of implements.^ A comparison of the technological formats operant at several house features at Anangula suggests that there is minimal variation in the overall format. This is interpreted as indicating that a short span of occupation is in order, presumably a generation or less.^ Comparison of the Anangula blade site's technological format with those of a series of Alaskan and Canadian sites to which Anangula has been likened indicates that the resemblances are more superficial than real. While several of the sites in question have isolated traits comparable to the Anangula blade site, there is no pervasive sharing of the manners in which physical principles are manipulated. Accordingly, it is suggested that a reasonable analog for the Anangula blade site's technological format has yet to be found in North America. ^