Anthropology, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in Plains Anthropologist, Vol. 61, No. 238 (May, 2016), pp. 159–176.

DOI 10.1080/00320447.2015.1112678


Copyright © Plains Anthropological Society; published by Routledge/Taylor & Francis. Used by permission.


Twenty-six Clovis implement caches are known from western North America. In cases where time-sensitive artifacts (e.g., Clovis projectile points or mammoth ivory rods) or adequate information about their provenience and geological context are absent, assigning temporal and cultural affiliation has been challenging. Such is the case with a cache of eight large bifaces, four of which were donated by Albert E. Baller in the early 1900s to the University of Nebraska State Museum. The cache was discovered along with debitage within a small tributary of the Republican River in south-central Nebraska. The four donated Baller bifaces have been curated since the early 1900s. This study compared the physical properties, metrical attributes, and lithic reduction strategies exhibited by the bifaces with 119 similar large bifaces recovered from 10 Clovis caches. These comparisons suggest that the Baller bifaces may represent yet unreported Clovis cache from western North America.