Paleoindian Occupations at Pluvial Lake Tonopah and Mud Lake, Southcentral Nevada

Paleoindian hunter-gatherers first entered the Great Basin ca. 11,500 years before present (BP) (Beck and Jones 1997; Grayson 1993). However, the lithic technologies associated with Paleoindians in the Great Basin remain largely unclear, specifically in regards to the origins and ages of fluted and unfluted concaved-based projectile points. It is uncertain if these two point types are related or if the two point types are dissimilar. One of the best ways to determine difference within projectile point types is through a morphometric and manufacturing/flaking pattern analysis. This study analyzed the Gary D. Noyes’ private collection of fluted and unfluted concave-based projectile points from the Pleistocene Lake Tonopah and Mud Lake areas of southcentral Nevada. Such an analysis like this had never been performed on this collection, allowing for the results of this study to contribute further insight into not only the relationship between fluted and unfluted concaved-based projectile points in southcentral Nevada, but as well as the Great Basin as a whole. Additionally, the results of this study were also compared to even broader geographic context of Paleoindian lithic technologies.

The data for these fluted and non-flutes points is available at the The Paleoindian Database of the Americas
Part of this project was funded by a General Undergraduate Research Award and by the Sundance Archaeological Research Fund both at the University of Nevada, Reno

Study locations and the relationship of Lake Tonopah to Mud Lake, NV (map from Willig 1991) 

Photos by Michael Rondeau 
Fluted and unfluted projectile point obsidian sources. Rays represent total percent of the total amount of obsidian fluted and unfluted points, respectively.