CRHR: Archaeology


A quantitative assessment of intraspecific morphological variation in Gahagan bifaces from the southern Caddo area and central Texas

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This investigation aggregates intact or reconstructed Gahagan bifaces from the southern Caddo area and central Texas to test the hypothesis that Gahagan biface morphology differs between the regions. The Gahagan bifaces (n = 102) were scanned, then analyzed using a novel landmarking protocol and the tools of geometric morphometrics. Results provide a preview of the significant differences in Gahagan biface morphology expressed between the southern Caddo area and central Texas regions. The size discrepancy represents an inversion of current theoretical constructs that posit a decrease in tool size thought to articulate with an increase in distance from the raw material source. It is posited that the contrasting morphologies represent two discrete communities of practice; one (emergent Caddo horticulturalists) where Gahagan bifaces were enlisted primarily for burial and ritualistic activities, and the other (central Texas hunter-gatherers) where Gahagan bifaces were utilized over a longer time span in more practical and utilitarian contexts.




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