• Functional comparisons between formal and informal tools sampled from the Nenana and the Denali assemblages of the Dry Creek Site

      Hall, Patrick T.; Potter, Ben; Fazzino, David; Clark, Jamie (2015-12)
      This research involved low powered microscopic analysis of usewear patterns on the utilized edges of formal and informal tools sampled from the Nenana component (C1) and the Denali component (C2) of the Dry Creek Site. Dry Creek is one of the type sites for the Nenana Complex, which is often contrasted with the Denali Complex in Late Pleistocene archaeological studies of central Alaska (12,000-10,000 B.P.). There are twice as many unifacial scrapers than bifacial tools in the C1 formal tool assemblage. The C1 worked lithic assemblage contains a relatively high number of unifacially worked endscrapers and side scrapers when compared to the number of bifacial knife and point technology. The technological makeup of the formal tools sampled from the Denali component is characterized by the manufacture and use of a higher number of bifacial knives and projectile points. The presence of microblades within C2 and the absence of microblades in C1 are often cited as the most significant technological difference between these two tool kits. The analysis presented here suggests that with or without microblades, the Nenana and Denali components are different tool kits. However, differences in utilization signatures between formal bifacial knives and scrapers tools indicate that technological variability within C1 and C2 at Dry Creek may largely be shaped by early hunting and butchering versus later stage butchering and processing activities.