A comparison of clovis caches



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Texas A&M University


The Clovis caches in this study consist of assemblages of tools left behind in an area either for future use or as ritual offerings. Clovis caches are the earliest of such assemblages known in North America. This research specifically examines a sample of four caches: East Wenatchee from Douglas County, Washington; Anzick from Park County, Montana; Simon from Camas County, Idaho; and Fenn, inferred to be from Sweetwater County, Wyoming. The artifact types in this study include fluted points, bifaces, blades, flakes, bone rods, and miscellaneous. The variables used in this study include maximum length, mid-length and maximum width, thickness, (lengthwidththickness)/1000, length/width, and width/thickness; using millimeters as the basic measurement unit. This study utilizes five methods in the study of the caches: descriptive statistics, factor analysis, cluster analysis, correspondence analysis, and geoarchaeology. The descriptive statistics reveal the most prominent trends that become more apparent in the subsequent statistical analyses. Such trends include East Wenatchee containing the largest points but the smallest bifaces, Anzick and Simon having significant biface variation, Fenn tending to be average in most respects, and bone rods being larger in East Wenatchee than they are in Anzick. The factor analysis explores the relationships between the variables and assigns them to larger components. Length, width, thickness, and lengthwidththickness comprise the size component, and length/width and width/thickness make up the shape component. The cluster analysis examines the artifacts within each site and between all sites to identify the most appropriate grouping arrangements based on similarities in artifact measurements. The general results show that fluted points form three clusters according to size more than shape, bifaces are highly variable but have no obvious clusters, and bone rods form three clusters with the first two being strictly divided by site. The correspondence analysis shows that the differences in count data between caches appear to relate to the geographic distances between them. Finally, geoarchaeological analysis posits that East Wenatchee has no discernable pit feature, Anzick contains only one human burial, Simon was not deposited in a pluvial lake, and Fenn would have been shallowly buried but was probably disturbed by erosion.