Document Type


Date of Degree Completion

Winter 2018

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Resource Management

Committee Chair

Patrick T. McCutcheon

Second Committee Member

Steven Hackenberger

Third Committee Member

William Smith


This thesis applies an analytic strategy based on a Darwinian evolutionary theoretical framework to measure variation in the cost and performance of stone tool manufacture and use at the Sanders (45KT315) site over time. Using this model, this thesis identified the selective conditions present in the technological organization of stone tool assemblages at the Sanders site. These conditions were identified by measuring variability in the debitage using mutually exclusive paradigmatic classifications. The classifications measure technological, functional, and raw tool stone material property dimensions. This thesis identifies the extent that debitage could be used to address variability between the Lower Lithic Component (LLC) and the Middle Lithic Component (MLC). The results of the analysis were compared to expectations established by previous research. Directional changes in reduction stages, material type, presence of use wear, and the utilization of thermal alteration are apparent from the LLC to the MLC. Variability between the LLC and the MLC components of the Sanders site indicate a subtle directional change from emphasis on initial reduction to intermediate reduction, potentially due to changes in earlier quarrying activities at the Sanders site. Overall, the presence of high quality stone tool raw materials, specifically cherts, is higher within the MLC compared to the LLC. These changes in raw tool stone material property dimensions appear to be directly correlated to lower frequencies in the use of thermal alteration. Changes in available resources may be due to changing Climatic and environmental conditions for the Southern Columbia Plateau. Use Wear patterns remain relatively stable between the two Lithic Components.