Bedrock Ground Stone Features: Landscape, Social Identity, and Ritual Space on the High Plains of Colorado

Ground stone tool research, particularly those instruments used to process food resources, has moved closer to the foreground of archaeological research over the past two decades. Part of the growing interest in the science of ground stone tool analysis stems from the emergence of newer forms of scientific visualization, particularly 3D modeling and virtual reality. Developments in field recording methods have led to breakthrough analysis and paved the way for building larger, comparative data sets. Recent analyses seek ways to better understand tool morphology and design related to past human behavioral processes. Alongside these research agendas is the analyses of tool use and environmental assessment from residue studies (from pollen, phytoliths, lipids, for example) that are occurring throughout the world. This webinar addresses the materiality and social aspects of a specific type of ground stone tool known as bedrock ground stone (BGS) features that are found in the canyons of southeastern Colorado. The region is a dynamic cultural landscape that witnessed interaction between Southwest, Plains and Eastern precontact societies. Due to their inaccessibility, physically and methodologically, BGS features have remained hidden from the archaeological gaze, at the corner of the kitchen hearth, awaiting notice and inclusion in the way we construct our knowledge of the past.