Late Maritime Woodland (Ceramic) and Paleoindian End Scrapers: Stone Tool Technology
As of 2002, Degree of Master of Science (MS) Quaternary and Climate Studies published under the auspices of the Climate Change Institute.
Archaeologists tend to view lithic assemblages from a predominately morphological perspective, stressing the importance of the fluted point as the defining characteristic of the Paleoindian culture period (ca. 10,000 years B.P.). In applying such a characteristic, Paleoindian sites have been identified throughout the Northeast. However, there are no identified Paleoindian sites in New Brunswick. It is possible that some sites are largely ignored or thought to lack a Paleoindian component if a fluted point is absent. If such sites are being overlooked, then the database may under represent the Paleoindian culture period. Spurred end scrapers commonly occur in known Paleoindian tool assemblages and are often considered diagnostic of the Paleoindian culture period. However, spurred end scrapers have also been identified in the Late Maritime Woodland (Ceramic) culture period (ca. 500 years B.P.). I designed the present study to determine if spurred end scrapers from known Paleoindian and Late Maritime Woodland period sites can be differentiated and be diagnostic of a specific culture period. A morphological and technological analysis of spurred end scrapers allowed me to complete a controlled comparative lithic study of the two culture groups. An analysis of the spurred end scrapers from the four sites indicates similarities between culture periods in the type of lithic materials employed in tool production as well as in the initial stages of core technology. Technological variability in the form of a longitudinal flake occurs on Paleoindian spurs. I then applied the similarity and variability identified between culture periods to two multi-component sites in New Brunswick that have spurred end scrapers that morphologically resemble those from the two Paleoindian sites analyzed. However, no other evidence of a Paleoindian component had been identified at the sites. The technological analysis of the spurred end scrapers from the New Brunswick sites has not determined that a Paleoindian component does exist, but suggests further investigation is warranted. It is the presence, not absence, of the longitudinal flake down the center of the spur that may be used as an indicator to distinguish Early Paleoindian from Late Maritime Woodland spurred end scrapers.