The Wansack Site (36ME61) is a multicomponent, prehistoric site located in western Pennsylvania (Mercer County) just east of the Ohio border. Four seasons of excavation (1974-1977) yielded ample evidence of occupation spanning the Archaic, Woodland, and Late Prehistoric periods. The present study analyzes the patterns of raw material procurement as seen through the lithic artifacts collected from the Wansack Site. The primary method utilized to do this is X-Ray fluorescence spectrometry (XRF). Samples of chert from Flint Ridge, Upper Mercer, and Sky Hill outcrops provide a baseline for source types found in close proximity to the Wansack Site. The elemental composition of source specimens is compared to that of 66 artifacts recovered from the Wansack Site to determine the point of origin of the latter. Flakes are tested from all stratigraphic levels of occupation, as well as across the site from each period. This study focuses on what the patterns of raw material procurement at the Wansack Site can show about the changing dynamics of mobility and trading relationships from the Archaic through the Late Prehistoric period in the upper Ohio River drainage. The data thus far shows a general trend of residential mobility gradually being replaced by logistic mobility, as well as small-scale, local trading relationships increasing in importance and complexity.


Kardulias, P. Nicholas




Geology | Other Anthropology


Monongahela, mobility patterns, lithics, chert, raw material procurement, provenance, XRF, prehistoric, processualism

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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