Another look at Clemson's Island

TitleAnother look at Clemson's Island
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1999
AuthorsHart, JP
JournalNortheast Anthropology
Keywordsarchaeological history, Archaeology, Clemson's Island, systematics

Archaeological sites assigned to the “Clemson’s Island” complex have great potential to be used to address issues of early Late Prehistoric (c. A.D. 750 – A.D. 1250) subsistence and settlement evolution in the Susquehanna River basin. During the 1980s and into the 1990s much effort was expended in attempts to identify a coherent set of common stylistic and functional attributes to define the Clemson’s Island taxon and adaptive type. These efforts culminated in a state plan for Clemson’s Island by Hay and associates (1987) and a widely read and referenced synthesis by Stewart (1990, 1994). Despite these efforts, Clemson’s Island remains somewhat enigmatic; there is much stylistic and functional variation that defy ready classification within the constructs of a culture-historic taxon or adaptive type. This variation, however, is critical to the identification and explanation of subsistence and settlement evolution. Future Clemson’s Island research should be geared toward identification of variation rather than the search for commonalties.