Anthropology, Department of


First Advisor

LuAnn Wandsnider

Second Advisor

Heather Richards-Rissetto

Third Advisor

Sophia Perdikaris

Date of this Version



Highland, Cynthia D. 2019 Late Paleoindian Land Tenure in Southwest Wyoming: Towards Integrating Method and Theory in an Analysis of Taphochronometric Indicators of Time-Averaged Deposits in the Wyoming Basin, Wyoming USA. M.A. Thesis, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Arts, Major: Anthropology, Under the Supervision of Professor LuAnn Wandsnider. Lincoln, Nebraska: December 2019

Copyright 2019 CYNTHIA D. HIGHLAND


According to Bailey (2008), substantive time perspectivism acknowledges that different types of phenomena operate over different time spans and resolutions as a matter of course while methodological time perspectivism concerns the notion that the nature of the data at our disposal, as well as the timescale of observation we choose to view it with, will affect the types of patterns that are possible to detect in the archaeological record. This thesis explores these ideas further. It is a pilot study of southwest Wyoming Late Paleoindian land tenure embedded within an extended critique of Wandsnider (2008). To Wandsnider’s original sample of archaeological site components, I add a sample of Late Paleoindian components. I build on Wandsnider’s original graphical analysis, which utilizes taphochronometric indicators to disentangle disparate sources of assemblage variation, especially in relation to occupation frequency and integration. Results of the combined analysis suggest that many of the taphochronometric indicators continue the patterns identified by Wandsnider in the original analysis. However, Late Paleoindian components in the interior basin location also generate a few unexpected patterns, given the highly integrated appearance of these components. An explanatory model combining the concept of “integration” with Bailey’s “cumulative palimpsest” along with an adaptation of Kowalewski’s (1996) “disharmonious time-averaging” is proposed to partially account for these differences. The discussion of integration in Wandsnider (2008) is revised in light of patterning seen for the Late Paleoindian components. I interpret these results in terms of Late Paleoindian land tenure systems.

Advisor: LuAnn Wandsnider

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