The geoarchaeology of Day Creek chert: Lithostratigraphy, petrology, and the indigenous landscape of northwest Oklahoma and southwest Kansas.
Bailey, Berkley Barnett.
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This research is designed to investigate the geoarchaeology of Day Creek chert. Located in the southern Great Plains of the United States, Day Creek chert supplied an important lithic raw material for prehistoric populations. Given the enormous confusion that has existed concerning the lithostratigraphic placement of the Day Creek Dolomite, emphasis has been placed on providing an accurate geologic profile contained within the Cloud Chief Formation. Factors contributing to the formation, exposure, and acquisition of Day Creek chert are addressed with commentary concerning the fluvial geomrphology and climatic variation that has waxed and waned on the Great Plains since earliest Permian Period times.Examination of quarries, workshops, archaeological sites, and private lithic collections suggests that Day Creek chert was heavily utilized during the Archaic Period. Subsequent occupations appear to rely more heavily on allogenic chert, suggesting changes in human behavior specific to direct acquisition, trade, and/or mobility during the Late Prehistoric Period.Given the variation in geomorphology of the region, due in part to variant lithostratigraphic exposures, discussion of local and allochthonous chert resources is provided. Investigation of petrological differences pertaining to Day Creek chert and allogenic chert suggests that instrumental neutron activation analysis can assist with providing a signature for unrelated lithic raw material resources.
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