Toward a Statistical Overview of the Archaic Cultures of Central and Southwwestern Texas
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Total lithic artifact collections from nine Texas sites are compared here by a simple form of cluster analysis with ordered matrix. Roark Cave, Coontail Spin Rockshelter, Centipede Cave, and the Devil's Mouth Site occur in the desertland of southwestern Texas, while the Wunderlich Site and the Levi, Oblate, Smith, and Kyle rockshelters are located in the semi-wooded hills of central Texas. All are simple middens without discrete occupational components. Since component recognition is necessary for archeological unit definition, a culture-historical integration of the archeological data from these sites must be achieved by some other means. This paper develops a comparative method suitable for this task. Lithic artifacts from site columns are isolated into collections representing given intervals of time, described typologically, and compared quantitatively to produce Robinson (1951) indexes of agreement. These indexes are grouped into clusters by matrix analysis, to reveal spatial-temporal patterns of uniformity amenable to cultural and ecological interpretations. Index clusters are plotted in time and space. This plotting shows (1) that the desert area of southwestern Texas is more stable, archeologically, from one period to another than the semi-wooded area of central Texas, and (2) that the two areas stand apart as separate archeological provinces throughout much of their histories.
Table of Contents: Abstract -- Acknowledgments--Introduction- The Problem of Component Recognition as it Relates to Archelogical Unit Definition in Texas--Site Selection and Periodization