Upper Paleolithic Toolstone Procurement and Selection Across Beringia Chapter uri icon


  • © 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved. Two lithic techno-complexes characterize the terminal Pleistocene archeological record of Beringia, a non-microblade complex and a microblade complex. Archeologists working in the region have given two interpretations to explain this lithic variability. Some have argued that the complexes represent two distinct cultural groups, while others have suggested the variability represents two technological features of a single complex used by a single group of people. These interpretations are deeply rooted in descriptive analysis and culture history. In this chapter we employ a behavioral approach to explore these explanations by focusing on differences in toolstone procurement and selection represented in two sets of non-microblade and microblade assemblages from the Dry Creek site, Alaska (USA) and the Ushki-5 site, Kamchatka (Russia). Our results show that toolstone procurement and selection were both unpatterned and unplanned in non-microblade assemblages, but patterned and planned in microblade assemblages. The differences seen between the techno-complexes may have resulted from the varied ways people were provisioning and using the landscape.

author list (cited authors)

  • Graf, K. E., & Goebel, T.

citation count

  • 16

editor list (cited editors)

  • adams, B., & Blades, B. S.

Book Title

  • Lithic Materials and Paleolithic Societies

publication date

  • April 2009