Prehistoric Quarries and Terranes

The Modena and Tempiute Obsidian Sources

Because of the sheer volume of industrial debris and the limited information it yields, quarries are challenging archaeological subjects. Michael J. Shott tackles this challenge in a study of flakes and preforms from the Modena and Tempiute obsidian quarries of North America’s Great Basin. Using new statistical methods combined with experimental controls and mass analysis, Shott extracts detailed information from debris assemblages, and parses them by successive “stages” of reduction continua. The book also reports the first test of the behavioral ecology field-processing model that treats quarry biface production in continuous terms, and estimates the production efficiency of prehistoric Great Basin knappers. After mapping and interpreting the abundance and distribution of quarry products, Shott concludes by charting future lines of research in the analysis of large toolstone sources. Whatever area of the world and technological traditions they research, lithic analysts will learn much from this book’s approach to complex archaeological deposits and their constituent artifacts.
Michael J. Shott is professor emeritus in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Akron. His research focuses on stone-tool analysis and how the archaeological record formed, based on fieldwork in the American midcontinent, Great Basin, Mexico, and South America. He has authored four monographs, including Pottery Ethnoarchaeology in the Michoacán Sierra, and has edited four volumes, including Works in Stone: Contemporary Perspectives on Lithic Analysis.
Table of Contents:
List of Figures
List of Tables
List of Online Appendices
1.  Introduction: Approaches to Quarry Studies
2.  Previous Research in Lincoln County
3.  Obsidian and the Modena and Tempiute Quarries
4.  Fieldwork and Data Collection
5.  The Reduction Process and Analysis of Flake Debris
6.  Bifaces
7.  Testing the Field- Processing Model in Biface-Preform Data
8.  Estimating Scale of Quarry Production
9.  Obsidian Hydration Dating
10.  Modena and Tempiute Terranes: Inferring Scale and Pattern of Prehistoric Land Use
11.  Conclusion

Praise and Reviews:“Like Shott’s previous work, the book is well written, well researched, and contains a wealth of information that will be of use to a variety of researchers. The book details the analysis of two obsidian quarries and walks the reader through how and why each analysis was conducted and the types of information that can be obtained via such analysis.”
—Andrew P. Bradbury, RPA, Principal Investigator, Cultural Resource Analysts, Inc., Lithic Specialist

“This book is about the analysis of lithic artifacts from Great Basin quarries. However, the wide-ranging approaches and inferential data that Shott used to analyze the Modena and Tempiute quarries have much broader implications to the study of quarries in general, and lithic analysis as a whole. Consequently, the book will be important to lithic analysts across the world.”
—Edward Knell, professor of anthropology, California State University, Fullerton