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The Agate Basin Site
A Record of the Paleoindian Occupation of the Northwestern High Plains

By George C. Frison and Dennis J. Stanford

The Agate Basin Site
Paperback, 430 pages £36.00
Published: 2015
ISBN: 9780989824903
Format: 274mm x 212mm
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Subjects: Archaeology, Eliot Werner Publications
Series: EWP Foundations of Archaeology

George Frison and Dennis Stanford's Agate Basin monograph is not only a classic of Plains paleoindian archaeology, but also of multidisciplinary research, geoarchaeology, zooarchaeology, and experimental archaeology. Lucid presentation of meticulously excavated and analyzed sediments, bones and artifacts convey an unmatched sense of the sights, sounds and smells of Paleoindian life on the High Plains—from brutal winters and blistering summers, to killing and butchering bison, and to making lethal weaponry.

As Matthew Hill writes in his new prologue, 'Not merely an important volume of the Frison canon, Agate Basin stands as a foundational document in modern Americanist archaeology and a major accomplishment in American science.'

Originally published by Academic Press in 1982

Contributions by
Matthew G. Hill

Prologue to the Percheron Press Edition, Matthew G. Hill


Chapter One. Introduction George C. Frison

   The Site Locality

   History of Site Excavations

   Artifact Collections

Chapter Two. Archaeology

   1. Stratigraphy   George C. Frison

2. Folsom Components   George C. Frison

   3. Agate Base Components   George C. Frison and Dennis J. Stanford

4. Hell Gap Components   George C. Frison

   5. The Sheaman Site: A Clovis Component   George C. Frison

6. Bone, Antler, and Ivory Artifacts and Manufacture Technology   George C. Frison and Carolyn Craig

   7. Raw Stone Flaking Material Sources   George C. Frison

   8. Radiocarbon Dates   George C. Frison

Chapter Three. Lithic Technology

   1. Flaked Stone Technology and Typology   Bruce A. Bradley

2. Fluting of Folsom Projectile Points   George C. Frison and Bruce A. Bradley

Chapter Four. Faunal Studies

   1. Analysis of Postcranial Bison Remains   George M Zeimens

   2. Bison Dentition Studies   George C. Frison

   3. Bison Taxonomy   George C. Frison

   4. Bison Procurement   George C. Frison

   5. Cultural Modifications of Bone from Pronghorn (Antilocapra Americana) and Other Small Animals   Danny N. Walker

   6. Early Holocene Vertebrate Fauna   Danny N. Walker

Chapter Five. Paleoecological Studies

   1. Geologic Investigation   John Albanese

   2. Soil Development and Paleoenvironments   Richard G. Reider

   3. Vegetation Ecology   Clayton Marlow

   4. Pollen Analysis   Jane M. Beiswenger

5. Phytolith Studies   Rhoda Owen Lewis

   6. Fossil Nonmarine Gastropods   Emmett Evanoff

Chapter Six. Summary and Conclusions   George C. Frison and Dennis J. Stanford



Name Index

Subject Index

'The Agate Basin Site has shaped our understanding of the early settlement of the Great Plains. Frison and Stanford set a standard for quality and readability that few archaeologists have matched. A landmark in synthetic research that brings together world-class research on lithic technology, faunal analysis, geoarchaeology, and paleoenvironmental studies.' (Matthew E. Hill Jr., University of Iowa)

'The Agate Basin Site is a remarkable locality in Paleoindian archaeology with its multiple, stratified occupation zones representing the earliest settlement of the Great Plains. Frison and Stanford's superb volume stands, appropriately, as a classic study in integrated zooarchaeology, geoarchaeology, and paleobotany in Paleoindian and Plains archaeology.' (Vance T. Holliday, University of Arizona)

'The Agate Basin Site is an exemplary work on an important site. Matthew Hill's prologue to this much-needed reissue nicely puts the work in context and explains why this book has earned the right to be on the bookshelf of every archaeologist interested in hunter-gatherers, vertebrate taphonomy, and environmental reconstruction. A classic that never goes out of style.' (David Meltzer, Southern Methodist University)

'The Agate Basin site occupies an unremarkable landscape. But the rich Paleoindian archaeology along Moss Agate Arroyo described in this volume transforms this stretch of the High Plains into a landmark site of North American archaeology. Equally, this volume shows how Frison's research program helped transform Paleoindian research.' (Lawrence Todd, Colorado State University)

George C. Frison is an American archaeologist. He has been given the Society for American Archaeology's Lifetime Achievement Award, the Paleoarchaeologist of the Century Award, and was elected to the National Academy of Sciences.

Dennis J. Stanford is an anthropologist at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.

Matthew G. Hill is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Iowa State University.

Publication Details:

 Paperback , 430 pages
 274mm x 212mm

BIC Code:
  HIS038000, SCI026000, SOC003000
 Eliot Werner Publications


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