Anthropology, Department of


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A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College in the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Arts, Department of Anthropology, Under the Supervision of Dr. John L. Champe. Lincoln, Nebraska: May 7, 1962
Copyright 1962 Thomas A. Witty


In 1936, the Lynch site, 25BDl, in North Central Nebraska was investigated by a party from the University of Nebraska under the qirection of Dr. Earl H. Bell. Preliminary estimates of age measured in many hundreds and even thousands of years created widespread interest. These data, with more conservative conclusions as to their ambiguity, were considered by Freed (1954) in her Master’s Thesis on file at the University of Nebraska.

In 1939, the Arzberger site, 39HU6, near Pierre, South Dakota, was excavated by a party from Columbia University led by Albert C. Spaulding, under the general direction of the late Dr. W. D. Strong. The final report of this work was published by Spaulding in 1956. His statistical analysis of the artifacts, and the insights gained thereby, made a review of the earlier work by Freed, as well as further field work seem highly desirable. The field work was carried out in the summer of 1959, and the correlation of the results of that investigation with the earlier work by Spaulding, Freed, and others has continued since that time.

The comparison of data gathered through investigation of archeological sites forms the basis for the identification and classification of prehistoric cultures. Within the literature of Plains Archeology, several different techniques of classification are found. Major systems such as Cultures (Strong, 1933; 271-287), Traditions (Lehmer, 1954; 140) and the Midwestern Taxonomic System (McKern, 1936; 7) have been used. The problem to be considered in this paper will be the comparison and ordering of archeological data from the Lynch, Arzberger, and other sites into such a comparative complex.

The method to be followed is that of the Midwestern Taxonomic System. The primary level of classification to be demonstrated is the Focus. The basis for such identification will be the majority of shared traits found at the sites just mentioned. Attributes of time and space will be excluded from the Focus definition, as is required in the Midwestern Taxonomic System.

The procedure to be followed in the Focus identification is:
1. A presentation of the traits from the Lynch site, 25BDl, as gathered from two seasons of excavations.
2. A summary description of traits from the Arzberger site, 39HU6, along with a review of data gathered from surface surveys at 25BD2, 25BD3, and 25BD4.
3. The identification of the Anoka Focus based upon the great majority of shared traits from the above sites.
4. A brief consideration of the Anoka Focus with other local manifestations in regard to time and space relationships.

Note: Plates 1-14 were not available in the copy of the work from which this digital version was prepared. The compilers regret and apologize for this omission.

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