Lubbock Lake: Late Quaternary Studies on the Southern High Plains

Overview


Lubbock Lake, one of the best-dated and best-stratified archaeological sites in the New World, was discovered in 1936, when City of Lubbock work crews were dredging for a municipal reservoir. Poking around the piles of dredged earth, a group of boys found a perfect Folsom projectile point, which they delivered to Prof. W.C. Holden at Texas Technological College. Even in light of this important discovery, only limited excavations of the site were conducted until 1972.

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Overview


Lubbock Lake, one of the best-dated and best-stratified archaeological sites in the New World, was discovered in 1936, when City of Lubbock work crews were dredging for a municipal reservoir. Poking around the piles of dredged earth, a group of boys found a perfect Folsom projectile point, which they delivered to Prof. W.C. Holden at Texas Technological College. Even in light of this important discovery, only limited excavations of the site were conducted until 1972.

Beginning that year, researchers on the Lubbock Lake project set out to explore and study the strata systematically. The site surpassed their expectations, yielding information on 12,000 years of natural history. It contained five major stratigraphic units, five different soils revealed that the area was once cool and marshy, and that gradual warming and drying followed, with periods of blowing dust and, throughout, the steady reduction of vegetation. The bones of mammoths and extinct species of bear, bison, reptiles, and various aquatic creatures and artifacts of cultural interaction offered clues to animal and human adaptation of the changing climate and ecosystem on the Southern High Plains.

This book, the primary site report, details research methodologies used and includes reports on the regional and local setting. Also included are the site's history and its geologic, pedologic, botanical, and cultural chronology. Although ten seasons of intensive effort at Lubbock Lake have resulted in the complete excavation of only 0.05% of the vast 120-hectare site, this volume, fully illustrated and documented with site plans, photographs, drawings, and tabular material, is the most comprehensive work available on the 12,000 years of life that existed in Lubbock Lake.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“. . . the editor and authors have fully justified the assertion that the Lubbock Lake site has produced one of the most nearly complete late Quaternary records in the New World. . . .’ The integrated interdisciplinary approach to the investigations carried out at Lubbock Lake by the LLP group places this site among the small handful of Paleoindian site reports that have established a standard for the study of Paleoindian sites and associated materials.”—American Anthropologist

“Ongoing interdisciplinary work of the Lubbock Lake Project coordinated by Johnson since 1973 is perhaps the most intensive archaeological effort at any site in the southern Plains region. The cumulative results of this long-term project are extremely important particularly for their paleoecological implications. . . . the fact that useful information is available [in this book] to critique is a tribute to the project’s continuing success.”—American Antiquity

American Anthropologist - R. E. Taylor

". . . the editor and authors have fully justified the assertion that the Lubbock Lake site 'has produced one of the most nearly complete late Quaternary records in the New World . . .' The integrated interdisciplinary approach to the investigations carried out at Lubbock Lake by the LLP group places this site among the small handful of Paleo-Indian site reports that have established a standard for the study of Paleo-Indian sites and associated materials."--American Anthropologist
American Antiquity, vol. 55, no. 4 - Jack L. Hofman

"Ongoing interdisciplinary work of the Lubbock Lake Project coordinated by Johnson since 1973 is perhaps the most intensive archaeological effort at any site in the southern Plains region. The cumulative results of this long-term project are extremely important, particularly for their paleoecological implications. . . . the fact that useful information is available [in this book] to critique is a tribute to the project's continuing success."--American Antiquity
North American Archaeologist - Gary Haynes

" . . . an interesting book, worth reading . . ."--North American Archaeologist
Geoarchaeology: An International Journal - E. James Dixon

" . . . the date in this volume are presented in a fashion amenable to reinterpretation by others in the decades to come . . . a scholarly work of lasting importance . . ."--Geoarchaeology: An International Journal
Plains Anthropologist - Danny N. Walker

" . . . an excellent synthesis of Lubbock Lake has at last been made available to the archaeological community. Eileen Johnson and her interdisciplinary team of co-workers should be commended for their work."--Plains Anthropologist
Quaternary Research - Lee Ann Kreutzer

" . . . a valuable presentation of interdisciplinary studies undertaken at a site that is significant on geological, paleontological, and archaeological grounds . . . provides an outline of the research undertaken in the early years of site investigation, details the most up-to-date analyses of environmental and archaeological remains, and integrates this work into a useful synthesis . . . contributes to a broader understanding of the paleoecology and archaeology of the Southern High Plains."--Quaternary Research
Heritage

"Archaeologists have been waiting for years for this compilation of Southern Plains prehistory to come out . . . one of the first books from a major press on Texas archaeology that interprets the complex intermingling of geological, cultural, and environmental facts in context in an archaeological site."--Heritage
SciTech Book News

"The most comprehensive work available on the 12,000 years of life at Lubbock Lake."--SciTech Book News
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781623490669
  • Publisher: Texas A&M University Press
  • Publication date: 9/30/2013
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author


EILEEN JOHNSON is executive director of the Museum of Texas Tech University, Horn Professor in Museum Science, and director of the Lubbock Lake Landmark.
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