Site Activities

The Beaver Creek VI site was initially identified as a small, short-term resource procurement and processing location. When the additional sites from the Beaver Creek complex (Beaver Creek I-VII) are observed along with Beaver Creek VI, the Beaver Creek complex as a whole could have functioned as a multi-task field camp, which is defined as a smaller-sized occupation that contains lower numbers of artifacts and tools. These sites resemble forager-like camps in which the occupants moved frequently in pursuit of low density and dispersed resources (Versaggi 1987). 

Microscopic analysis of the edges of stone tools from the Beaver Creek VI site showed evidence that site occupants were using the tools on soft tissue and for hide cutting, and additionally showed evidence of dry hide scraping (the biface fragment). Other tools showed use on harder materials such as antler or bone with the tool being used in a rotating motion. The Meadowood point exhibited evidence of multiple resharpening episodes and repeated use on soft tissue and hide. No evidence in the form of wear was identified that would indicate the tool had been hafted onto a spear shaft. 

These observations suggest that while butchering (focused primarily on skinning the animal and then removing the meat from the animal’s bones) occurred at the Beaver Creek VI site, a later stage of processing also took place. This later stage of resource processing focused on the non-edible portions of game, such as hides and skeletal elements. The people who created these assemblages may not have been doing the actual hunting, and if so, they probably were not doing it in that location. It is more likely that the hunting was taking place in the valleys surrounding these sites, and this complex of sites was a central staging point where hunting parties returned to once they had hunted one or more animals.