Pits Without Pots: Basketmaker II Houses and Lithics of Southeastern Utah
Pollock, Katherine Heather
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The first goal of this thesis was to provide descriptive site reports of three late Basketmaker II habitation sites on Cedar Mesa, Southeastern Utah. There was great homogeneity among late Basketmaker II habitation sites on Cedar Mesa, including pitstructure layout, site layout, and the associated lithics. Similarities included the presence of a sandstone slab-lined ramp style entryway, central hearth, and sub-floor storage cists in the pithouse, and an associated midden directly to the south of the pithouse entryway. My second goal was to compare lithics from the excavated sites with the surface assemblages from sites classified as habitations by Cedar Mesa Project researchers. Overall, similarity between the excavated and surface assemblages indicated habitation sites can be distinguished from other site types on the basis of surface artifactual data.The third goal was to examine Matson's (1991, 1994) hypothesis that Western Basketmaker II was established by migration from the San Pedro Cochise to the south but that Eastern Basketmaker II developed in situ after the Western region was established. Temporal trends in Early Agricultural period pitstructures from throughout the Southwest provides positive evidence for a migration from the south to the north. However, both Eastern and Western Basketmaker II regions appear to have been established at roughly the same time. This does not disprove an in situ development in the Eastern region, but also does not support it.Data from the same survey of early Southwestern pithouses were used to examine Gilman's (1997) theory that changes in specific architectural characteristics would occur through time as a result of increased sedentism and agricultural dependence. The architectural characteristics included increased floor area, internal hearths, internal storage, and depth. There is evidence to support Gilman's theory in the Eastern Basketmaker region, some evidence for the San Pedro Cochise region, and little to no evidence for the Western Basketmaker region.