Enter content here

Enter content here

Enter content here

V. ARTIFACT ANALYSIS AND COMPARISON

The lithic assemblage in the Cram collection consisted of a variety of artifacts made from a wide selection of raw materials . These materials included stone types that were likely collected locally (quartz, quartzite, rhyolite, granite) as well as more exotic lithics that would have been acquired either through trade or quarrying (chert, hornfels, jasper).  Local lithics were likely acquired either in the form of beach cobbles or from cobbles found along stream or river banks.  Exotic materials appear to have come from New York State (chert), Pennsylvania (jasper) and the Blue Hills near Boston (hornfels).  The argillite may have come from local sources or it may also have been acquired through trade or collection from the Narragansett Bay region or the Taunton River drainage.

 

The Cram Collection was compared with two other assemblages: the archaeologically derived 19-PL-820 collection from Kingston, and the avocational collector derived collection in the possession of the Mattapoisett Historical Society in Mattapoisett, Massachusetts. These collections were chosen for comparison because the 19-PL-820 collection, being from Kingston, should allow a comparison between an archaeological collection and an avocational collection in order to see if collector bias could have affected the material present in the Cram Collection.  The Mattapoisett Historical Society Collection, on the other hand, would allow a comparison with another avocational  collection.

 

Rhyolite, quartz, and quartzite are the most common lithic types represented in all three  collections (Table 12). Exotic lithics (chert, jasper, hornfels) accounted for a total of 3.3% of the Cram Collection, 1.4% of the 19-PL-820 collection and 8.4% of the Mattapoisett collection.  Exotics may be over represented in the Avocational collections due to their distinctive nature.  Because they generally do not look like the local materials most collectors commonly see, they may be differentially collected, collectors may pick them up more often than they collected the other materials. The difference could also be the result of more of the exotic lithics occurring at the larger sites that are generally targeted by collectors, like the ones excavated by Cram and the ones present in the Mattapoisett collection. These larger sites may represent more substantial camps or winter camps where numerous families would congregate,

 

 Table 12. Material Comparison

 

 

 

Cram

 

Tura

 

Mattapoisett

 

Rhyolite

 

418/ 45.6%

 

132/ 37%

 

66/ 46.5%

 

Quartz

 

410/ 44.7%

 

176/ 49.3%

 

37/ 26.1%

 

Quartzite

 

30/ 3.3%

 

16/ 4.5%

 

13/ 9.2%

 

Argillite

 

8/ .9%

 

3/ .8%

 

9/ 6.3%

 

Volcanic

 

20/ 2.2%

 

12/ 3.4%

 

5/ 3.5%

 

Chert

 

10/ 1.1%

 

2/ .6%

 

6/ 4.2%

 

Hornfels

 

11/ 1.2%

 

3/ .8%

 

3/ 2.1%

 

S. Jasper

 

4/ .4%

 

 

 

 

 

Slate

 

7/ .8%

 

1/ .3%

 

 

 

Chalcedony

 

2/ .2%

 

 

 

 

 

P. Jasper

 

4/ .4%

 

 

 

3/ 2.1%

 

Granite

 

4/ .4%

 

12/ 3.4%

 

 

 

Attleboro felsite

 

2/ .2%

 

 

 

 

 

Sandstone

 

3/ .3%

 

 

 

 

 

Siltstone

 

1/ .1%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

916

 

357

 

142

trade and exchange gifts.

 

Table 13. Raw material usage comparison by period between Cram and Mattapoisett collections

 

Material

 

MA

 

LA

 

TA

 

EW

 

MW

 

LW

 

Total

 

Quartz    Cram

 

 

 

34

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

32

 

64/ 31.5%

 

Mattapoisett

 

 

 

31

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4

 

35/ 30.9%

 

Rhyolite    Cram

 

16

 

14

 

19

 

5

 

18

 

28

 

100/ 49.3%

 

Mattapoisett

 

18

 

31

 

 

 

4

 

3

 

1

 

57/ 50.4%

 

Quartzite    Cram

 

 

 

1

 

 

 

3

 

4

 

3

 

11/ 5.4%

 

Mattapoisett

 

2

 

5

 

 

 

2

 

1

 

 

 

10/ 8.8%

 

Argillite    Cram

 

2

 

4

 

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7/ 3.4%

 

Mattapoisett

 

5

 

3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8/ 7.1%

 

Hornfels    Cram

 

 

 

1

 

 

 

 

 

3

 

5

 

9/ 4.4%

 

Mattapoisett

 

1

 

1

 

 

 

1

 

1

 

 

 

4/ 3.5%

 

S. Jasper    Cram

 

 

 

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1/ .5%

 

P. Jasper    Cram

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

 

 

 

1/ .5%

 

Slate    Cram

 

 

 

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1/ .5%

 

Sandstone    Cram

 

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1/ .5%

 

Chert    Cram

 

 

 

6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6/ 3%

 

Mattapoisett

 

 

 

3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3/ 2.7%

 

When the distributions of materials used in each time period is examined for the Mattapoisett and Cram collections (Table 13),  the following trends for each material type can be seen:

 

-Quartz was commonly used in the Late Archaic and Late Woodland at comparable amounts, with a greater utilization of quartz in the Late Archaic as opposed to the Late Woodland.

 The use of quartz predominantly in these periods may indicate a similar use for quartz as a raw material, or a similar rational for quartz being selected as a preferred raw material,

 even though it is one of the more difficult materials to work.

-Quartzite was used in the Middle Archaic in the Mattapoisett Collection but not in Kingston. It was most commonly used in the Late Archaic in Mattapoisett and in the Middle Woodland in Kingston.  It was not used for any of the Late Woodland points.

-Argillite usage was common in the Middle Archaic and most widely used in the Late Archaic.

-Rhyolite was the most commonly used raw material in both collections. Usage was most intense in Mattapoisett in the Middle and Late Archaic, but was more widely used in all periods in Kingston.

-Chert was used only in the Late Archaic in both collections.

-Hornfels was more widely used in Mattapoisett in all periods, but in Kingston was limited to the Middle and Late Woodland periods.

-Generally the assemblage from Kingston shows a use of a wider variety of materials.  This may be the result of the Cram Collection having a lower degree of collector bias than the Mattapoisett collection.  Cram appears to have been a less discriminating collector.

 

The MHC files have 35 components on record as having been identified in Kingston (Table 14)

 

Table 14. Comparison of components on file at MHC with components from Cram Collection

 

 

 

MHC Files

 

Cram Collection

 

Paleoindian

 

0

 

0

 

Early Archaic

 

2.9%

 

0

 

Middle Archaic

 

5.7%

 

9.4%

 

Late Archaic

 

48.6%

 

40.3%

 

Early Woodland

 

14.3%

 

3.9%

 

Middle Woodland

 

8.6%

 

12.8%

 

Late Woodland

 

14.3%

 

33.5%

 

Contact

 

5.7%

 

0

When the components that are on file at the MHC are compared with those from the Cram collection, it is apparent that more Early Archaic, Late Archaic, Early Woodland and Contact Period sites are on file at the MHC that are present in the Cram Collection. This may be due to the possible differential use of ponds/ lakes, rivers and brooks that is hinted at by the distribution of known sites.  Looking at the sites on file in the MHC site files, there are more unknown and Late Archaic sites on ponds/ lakes whereas most of the sites from other periods are found on brooks and the Jones River. By comparison, assuming that the number of projectile points from a specific period is representative of the degree of intensity of occupation during that period, the Cram Collection shows a preference for Late Archaic and Late Woodland occupation.  Another similarity between Late Archaic and Late Woodland periods is the greater utilization of quartz as a raw material. These two facts, the more intense settlement at the sites represented by the Cram Collection and the greater reliance on quartz, may indicate that the cultures of these periods may have been living similar lifestyles or at least procuring similar resources and seasonally settling in similar settings.


The Cram Collection also contained a number of historic artifacts that seem to point towards either English occupation in the seventeenth century or to items that had been traded to the Natives at that time.  The presence of border ware, a ceramic type common on early to mid-seventeenth century sites, as well as the domestic animal bones present, seem to indicate that there was an English homesite somewhere in the area where Cram was excavating. It is unknown at the present time who may have lived here or if the site remains intact.