Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Miller, Darcy Shane

Committee Member

Peacock, Evan

Committee Member

Hardin, James W.

Committee Member

Parish, Ryan

Committee Member

Hoffman, David M.

Other Advisors or Committee Members

Travis, Rick

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Applied Anthropology

Degree Name

Master of Arts


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Anthropology and Middle Eastern Cultures


This study is a collections-based project that employs approximately 1,300 projectile points to investigate behavioral response to the Younger Dryas in north Alabama (12,900 to 11,700 BP). I apply a version of the marginal value theorem to determine how changing resource structures caused changes in projectile point technology. I argue that changes in technology during the Younger Dryas were not conditioned by access or availability of lithic raw material. Instead, variation in technology is likely a response to changes in return rates from hunting and foraging. Further, the changes in hunting return rates correlate with changes in north Alabama forest structure, which were conditioned by the Younger Dryas. To this end, I argue that the sustained impact of the Younger Dryas, and subsequent Holocene warming, had an effect on the subsistence economies of hunter-gatherers living in northern Alabama during this time, which is exhibited by changes in projectile point technology.