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Unpublished Paper
A Theory of Fire-cracked Rock
presented at the 50th Annual Northwest Anthropological Conference, Ellensburg, Washington (1997)
  • Douglas C. Wilson, Portland State University
Abstract
Fundamental shifts in prehistoric subsistence, settlement patterns, demographic characteristics,
and socioeconomic complexity have been documented for the Pacific Northwest. These shifts
undoubtedly resulted in dramatic changes in the systems used to obtain, use, and maintain rocks
used to transfer thermic energy in hearths and roasting ovens. Changes to "thermal rock" systems
undoubtedly also have conditioned the characteristics of the fire-cracked and otherwise thermallyaltered
rocks found at archaeological sites. The frequency and regularity of use of facilities using
thermal rocks are seen as fundamental behavioral processes that temper the stages of reduction of
rocks found at sites and the location and density of deposition of rock fragment wastes. A stagemodel
is proposed to explain the evolution of thermal rock systems in the Pacific Northwest and a
research design for future thermal rock studies presented.
Keywords
  • fire-cracked rock,
  • thermal rock,
  • behavioral archaeology,
  • Pacific Northwest
Publication Date
Spring April 18, 1997
Citation Information
Douglas C. Wilson. "A Theory of Fire-cracked Rock" presented at the 50th Annual Northwest Anthropological Conference, Ellensburg, Washington (1997)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/douglas_wilson/34/