Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Committee Member

Karen Harry

Second Committee Member

Barbara Roth

Third Committee Member

Alan Simmons

Fourth Committee Member

Stephen Rowland

Number of Pages



Flaked stone technology, as with any utilitarian technology, is studied by archaeologists for a number of reasons. Often lithics are studied to understand the activities of a prehistoric group. Everything from the final product to the waste material can, when recovered in suitable amounts, reflect the conscious decisions of its creator. Understanding this helps to embed all stages of stone tool (lithic) use into aspects of human behavior and in understanding the organization of technology.

The Virgin Branch Puebloans are the westernmost sub-branch of the Ancestral Puebloan culture of the American Southwest. While some of their expanse has been studied within their lowland regions, their upland territory, specifically the Shivwits Plateau on the Arizona Strip, has until very recently remained understudied. This thesis examined the flaked stone tools, cores, and debitage recovered from eight sites within the vicinity of Mt. Dellenbaugh on the Shivwits Plateau. Its goal is to understand past human behavior with reference to site function, raw material use, and lithic reduction strategies for the purpose of adding to the information compiled by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas' ongoing research within the region.

Results showed that at many sites a wide range of similar activities were occurring with some possibly including evidence of more specialized activities. In addition to this, with the exception of a few differences in raw material selection and some variation in the lithic debitage, most of the sites were utilizing similar reduction strategies even as distance from the raw material source increased.


Ancestral Pueblo culture; Arizona – Arizona Strip; Debitage; Lithic Attribute Analysis; Lithics; Shivwits Plateau; Stone implements; United States – Virgin River; Virgin Anasazi


Archaeological Anthropology

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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