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Master of Arts (MA)
Campbell, Sarah K.
Koetje, Todd A.
Stevenson, Joan C.
As scientists, archaeologists sometimes accept interpretations proposed long ago as the standard. For this thesis, I chose to challenge the consensus hypothesis that edged cobbles (aka cobble choppers) were primarily used for wood-working activities in the Salish Sea during the Locarno Beach phase (3200-2400 BP). I questioned this hypothesis for two reasons: first, because previous analyses failed to use replication as an aid in recognizing relevant use-wear attributes; and secondly, because alternative uses for edged cobble during the Locarno Beach phase were never tested. My research tests the hypothesis that edged cobbles were used in the manufacture of stone weights for fishing activities at the Cherry Point site (45WH1) in northwest Washington. Using replicative experimentation, morphological, temporal, and spatial analyses, I analyzed the Cherry Point edged cobble assemblage and demonstrated that the occupants of Cherry Point not only used edged cobbles for wood-working but to also modify stone. Statistical analyses further supports this conclusion and indicates a strong association between edged cobbles and stone weights at Cherry Point. My research highlights the individual decisions and choices involved in the organization, maintenance, and use of edged cobbles at Cherry Point. It also demonstrates the value of information which can be gleaned from a humble tool and shows how taking a fresh look at an old artifact can allow archaeologists to discover new insights into the lives of prehistoric peoples in the Pacific Northwest.
Western Washington University
Cherry Point (Wash.); Washington (State)
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Palmer, Jamie J., "A Fresh Look at an Old Artifact: A New Interpretation of Edged Cobbles at Cherry Point (45WH1), Northwest Washington" (2015). WWU Masters Thesis Collection. 398.