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Faunal Analysis and Paleoindian Studies: A Reexamination of the Lipscomb Bison Bonebed

Lawrence C. Todd, Jack L. Hofman and C. Bertrand Schultz
Plains Anthropologist
Vol. 37, No. 139 (May 1992), pp. 137-165
Published by: Maney Publishing on behalf of the Plains Anthropological Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25669095
Page Count: 29
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Faunal Analysis and Paleoindian Studies: A Reexamination of the Lipscomb Bison Bonebed
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Abstract

Excavation at the Lipscomb site (Lipscomb County, Texas) in 1939 and 1946 uncovered a bison bonebed and associated Folsom artifacts. Although a preliminary report was published (Schultz 1943) and the site is widely cited in Paleoindian literature, only limited information on the bonebed has previously been available for comparative analysis. Recent reexamination of the Lipscomb collections and additional field work have recorded basic data on skeletal element frequencies and breakage attributes, bone preservation, population characteristics, and seasonality that are used in reconstructing the site's formational history. Contrary to common interpretations that Lipscomb represents a "small Folsom kill," recent study indicates that at least 55 animals are represented in the excavated portions of the bonebed. Approximately 75% of the skeletally mature animals were cows, and 25% were bulls. The Lipscomb bison died in late summer or early fall, perhaps in a single catastrophic event. Continued excavation shows that the full extent of the bonebed is as yet undetermined, and that the topography at the time the bonebed formed was markedly different than the modern setting.

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