Why didnít they use the good stuff?: Lithic Selection During the Archaic in Central Maine
David Sanger
Department of Anthropology and Institute for Quaternary Studies
University of Maine
sanger@maine.maine.edu
Henry Berry IV
Maine Geological Survey
Although Paleoindians of Maine went to considerable lengths to acquire selected silicates, the Early and Middle Archaic period inhabitants chose low grade metamorphic (LGM) rocks instead.  Data from a quarry/workshop site provides interesting insights into this procurement pattern.  The near exclusive use of LGM raises a number of questions regarding lithics and culture. For example: Was this decision the result of a technological tradition that had no use for cherts and related rocks? Or, did the LGM pattern develop as a consequence of accessibility?  As we move beyond sourcing studies to consider the total role of lithics in culture, archaeologists in the northeast will have to include a wider range of data sets.  We also need to consider carefully the potentially deterministic model that people, given the opportunity, will automatically select high quality cherts and similar lithologies.