Phylogenetic and morphometric analyses of Eastern fluted-point forms
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] This dissertation constitutes two mutually complementary approaches to the study of Paleoindian material culture in eastern North America, ca. 13,500-10,500 calendar years before present. Archaeologists have long held that the East contains a substantially greater degree of morphological variation in Paleoindian point forms, though precisely why this is the case has rarely been explained. It is also unclear how many of the various point forms relate to each other in an evolutionary sense--which forms are derived from which, and why? Morphological analyses are conducted on a large sample of intact Paleoindian projectile points from across the East. I use paradigmatic classification to establish classes for use in a cladistic analysis to evaluate heritable continuity within the sample. Results of this analysis suggest that shape and form of Paleoindian projectile points changed in a more-or-less stochastic fashion across space, and evidence for strong selective pressure is limited. Findings concerning the process of character-state change suggest that some characters become fixed early in the evolution of points, whereas others appear to change frequently. The results of this study demonstrate that changes in Paleoindian projectile points can be explained within a cultural-evolution framework.
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