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Washington State University
Museum of Anthropology Granite Point (45WT41)

Interpretations and Conclusions

Component Comparisons

In order to confirm their status as distinct stationary states, the three Components were subjected to comparative analysis. As the two Provisional Components were not believed to represent the entire technological range of their stationary state, they were not included in this comparison. Chi-square analysis was also conducted to assure that the distribution of artifact categories was nonrandom and not a result of chance.

Component 1 & Component 2: Analysis of Component 1 and Component 2 revealed 15 artifact category commonalities. Commonalities between the two components included technologically simple artifacts as well as some “diagnostic” artifacts such as large lanceolate knives, two forms of lanceolate projectile points and denticulate scrapers. From Component 1 to Component 2, 32 artifact categories were lost and 26 categories were added. Of these categorical changes, only two functional classes from Component 1, burins and atlatl spurs, were absent in Component 2. Leonhardy (1970) notes that these categories have been found in assemblages at other archaeological sites in the region, contemporary to Component 2, suggesting that the disappearance of these functional types may be a result of the sample size rather than an actual loss. Notable changes between the components are the stylistic loss of Component 1’s stemmed projectile points and the addition of the edge-ground cobbles and grinding stones categories.

Component 2 & Component 4: During the transition from Component 2 to Component 4, 28 artifact categories were lost, 11 categories were retained and 29 categories were added. However, the identification of a stationary state, Provisional Component 3, residing between the two components makes it hard to say at what time these categories were lost or added. There is a prominent stylistic change from the uniform and highly skilled flakes and projectile points of Component 2 to the flakes and projectile points of Component 4 that are less uniform in design and required a lower degree of craftsmanship to create. These significant stylistic differences suggest that these populations varied in their understanding of what tools should look like and how they should be produced.

Component 1 & Component 4: Component 1 and Component 4 had only 8 artifact categories in common confirming that they represented distinct populations.

Both Component 1 and Component 2 share technologically simple functional categories of artifacts with Component 4 such as cobble spalls, utilized flakes, pounding stones and scraper-like cobble implements. This analysis revealed that Component 1 and Component 2, with 15 categories in common, are more closely related to each other than either component is with Component 4. The retention of Component 1’s functional classes and their shared “diagnostic” artifacts suggests that Component 2 may have a direct evolutionary relationship with Component 1.


Geologic and Cultural Chronology

In his 1970 dissertation, Leonhardy states that understanding the ways in which components relate to one another can tell of cultural relationships over time and space, and that “the artifacts and assemblages of artifacts are culturally neutral…[and] the component is a model which implies cultural meaning…” (9). Through the construction of distinct components and an understanding of the geological sequence, Leonhardy was able to propose the below cultural sequence at Granite Point. 

Comparison of the Granite Point Locality Geologic and Cultural Sequences and Granite Point Radiocarbon Dates (Leonhardy 1970, Fig. 29)
Comparison of the Granite Point Locality Geologic and Cultural Sequences and Granite Point Radiocarbon Dates (Leonhardy 1970, Fig. 29)


Review of Methodology

Leonhardy concluded that the method used for this analysis was not only successful, but by considering both the commonalities and difference between assemblages at a constant level of abstraction, it provided a relatively simple way to evaluate both type and degree of technological changes over time. He asserted that this method would work well with small sample sizes, has the potential to establish archaeological units larger than components, and should be employed for the study of other archaeological sites.