Title

TERMINAL ARCHAIC SETTLEMENT AND SUBSISTENCE IN THE CONNECTICUT RIVER VALLEY

Date of Completion

January 1986

Keywords

Anthropology, Archaeology

Degree

Ph.D.

Abstract

The purpose of my dissertation research has been to test hypotheses concerning Terminal Archaic settlement and subsistence in the Connecticut Valley. The Terminal Archaic dates between 3700 and 2700 B.P. in the Northeast, and is a temporal designation within which certain artifact classes assigned to the Susquehanna Tradition are found. The Susquehanna Tradition in Connecticut is characterized by steatite bowls, ceramics, groundstone tools, and a variety of broadspear points.^ Studies of the Terminal Archaic have generally focused on burial practices. Few occupation sites of the Susquehanna Tradition in Connecticut had been adequately tested for function, seasonality, and duration of occupation. I report the excavation of occupation sites, the recovery of features, preserved food remains, and the analysis of stone tools which allowed for the evaluation of two hypotheses, explaining the distribution of diagnostic artifacts of the Susquehanna Tradition: (1) the specialized technological subsystem hypothesis, and (2) the complete cultural system hypothesis.^ I suggest that sites assigned to the Susquehanna Tradition reflect a complete cultural system, focused upon the exploitation of seasonally available wild plant and animal resources. Two cultural systems may in fact have coexisted in the Connecticut Valley during the Terminal Archaic, by practicing different procurement strategies. Populations possessing narrow-stemmed points were foragers, characterized by frequent residential moves across a variety of resources zones, with an emphasis upon interior uplands; populations using broadspear points were collectors, characterized by less frequent residential moves, focused upon riverine resources much of the year, with seasonal movements into the uplands. ^