Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Michael S. Nassaney

Second Advisor

Dr. William Cremin

Third Advisor

Dr. Marla Buckmaster

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


This study examines issues concerning the theoretical basis of style and ethnicity in archaeology through analysis of a material culture (lithic) assemblage from the Late Paleoindian-Archaic cultural transition period In the Northwestern Great Lakes region of the United States. A theoretical framework utilizing practice theory as expounded by Pierre Bourdieu is applied to an interpretation of both the theoretical and concrete issues involved in this analysis. Using the context of an interpreted ritual/mortuary site, a social archaeology concerned with the social, political, and organizational context of production, use, and deposition of technological objects is developed to address style and ethnicity within a practice theory framework. Rather than focus on the physical environment through a systemic approach to the context of cultural reproduction/social change, an agent-centered approach is attempted, which re-focuses analysis of material culture on the social contexts of style, ethnicity, and technology (material culture).