The Enigmatic Paleoindian Artifact Style of the Great Plains

The Plainview Paleoindian artifact style was first recognized in 1947, after numerous projectile points were found during excavations of a bison kill site near Plainview, Texas. In the decades that followed, however, Plainview became something of a catch-all category with artifacts from across the continent being lumped together based merely on gross similarities. This volume unravels the meaning of Plainview, detailing what is known about this particular technology and time period. Contributing authors from the United States and Mexico present new data gleaned from the reinvestigation of past excavations, notes, maps, and materials from the original Plainview site as well as reports from other Plainview Paleoindian sites across the Great Plains, northern Mexico, and the southwestern United States. 

Vance T. Holliday is a professor at the School of Anthropology and Department of Geosciences at the University of Arizona, where he is also executive director of the Argonaut Archaeological Research Fund.

Ruthann Knudson is an archaeologist and the principal investigator and owner of Knudson Associates in Great Falls, Montana.

Eileen Johnson is director of the Lubbock Lake Landmark, director of academic and curatorial programs at the Museum of Texas Tech University, and chair of the Museum Science Program. 

Praise and Reviews:
“A must-have for anyone interested in the early hunter-gatherers in the Great Plains, Southwest, and/or Great Basin. It has everything one would hope for in a volume of this kind, including thorough descriptions of the Plainview type site, general chronology and paleoenvironmental records, and chapters addressing the challenge of defining Plainview.”
—Thomas A. Jennings, director of the Antonio J. Waring, Jr. Archaeological Laboratory, University of West Georgia 

“More than just a survey of interesting sites and artifacts, this volume makes great strides in helping the discipline to understand why there is so much morphological and technological variation in lithic artifacts during the Late Paleoindian period. It is a collection of fantastic scholarship by some of the leading researchers in the field.”
—Matthew E. Hill Jr., associate professor of anthropology, University of Iowa 

“In short, this volume contextualizes old excavations, defines the geoarchaeological and paleoenvironmental context for late Pleistocene cultural components on the southern Plains, summarizes data from new explorations, and approaches the eternal archaeological problem of typology through both traditional methods and new tactics, synthesizing what is known and what still needs to be investigated regarding the Plainview typology and Plainview peoples. The result is a nuanced discussion needed by any Paleoindian researcher or Great Plains archaeologist.”—American Antiquity

“The authors have amassed, in one book, archaeological investigations that will be informative and educationally necessary for future researchers for some time....Clear photographs of the early excavations and artifact images, beautifully illustrated point type morphologies, and an array of tables, maps, and figures are integrated throughout and visually contribute to the shared knowledge. The authors of this book provide new in-depth analyses and elaborate on earlier understandings of this ‘enigmatic’ point type.” —Great Plains Research