Anthropology, Department of


Date of this Version



In Hunters and Gatherers in Theory and Archaeology, edited by George M. Crothers. Center for Archaeological Investigations, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Occasional paper, number 31 (2004), pages 103-124.


U.S. government work.


The settlement-subsistence pattern of hunter-gatherers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, has been viewed historically as an economic system organized around the altitudinal distribution of seasonally ripening food crops and has come to be known as high country adaptation (HCA). Although this study does not take issue with the basic tenet of the modelhunter- gatherer movement through altitudinal zones for the exploitation of seasonally available resources-we critically assess the normative functional interpretations presented by previous investigators. We examine artifacts in three lithic assemblages from southern Jackson Hole in terms of the organization of technology as a means to investigate each locale's function in a larger settlement system. By focusing on smaller units of analysis, and using different kinds of data, we are able to test expectations based on the HCA land-use model for each assemblage. We find that conclusions based upon that model are not consistently supported.