The Wintu and Their Neighbors

Christopher Chase-Dunn and Kelly M. Mann

Appendix 2:

An analysis of projectile point data from the Sacramento River Canyon

an obsidian blade found in the Sacramento River CanyonThis is an analysis of propoint data from Basgall and Hildebrandt (1989) to study obsidian source differences by location in the Sacramento River Canyon.


Tuscan obsidian is a particular type of volcanic glass that comes from a delimited area near Backbone Ridge (Seaman's Gulch) not far from the heartland of Wintu territory. Ethnographers have long asserted that the boundary between Wintu-speakers and the Okwanuchu-Shastans in the Sacramento River Canyon was just north of Pollard Flat where North Salt Creek joins the Sacramento. If the boundary between the Wintu and the Okwanuchu was there, and if the Wintu had been pushing north up the Canyon into Hokan-speaking territory:

The above follows because the Tuscan sources (near Backbone Ridge) are well within Wintu territory while access to the Medicine Lake highlands (Northeast of Mount Shasta) requires that the Wintu cross through Shastan lands or trade for obsidian with their enemies.


Bill Hildebrandt provided four D-Base files containing the propoint data listed in Basgall and Hildebrandt (1989: Vol 2 Appendix J) -- one file from each site they studied. We converted these into a single SPSS file.

Variables that we added:

SITE = SHA-1175, SHA-1176 (both at Vollmers), SHA-476 (at La Moine), SHA-1169 at Pollard Flat.

LOCATION = Vollmers, La Moine, Pollard Flat

DISTANCE (from Seaman's Gulch in kilometers, the way the crow flies)

Vollmers= 38 km.; LaMoine= 42 km.; Pollard Flat= 45 km.

Then we merged the four files. The total number of projectile points is 1321.

The number of points for each LOCATION: Vollmers = 318 points; La Moine = 599 points; Pollard Flat = 404 points

Variables we recoded:

CHEM= chemical sourcing (x-ray florescence).

We computed CHEM1 lumping GHF/LIW, East Med Lk, Railroad Grade, and Glass Mountain together into "Medicine Lake Highlands".

Medicine Lake Highlands N = 620
Tuscan N = 81
Borax Lake N = 1
Buck Mountain N = 5
Harris Flat N = 1
Unknown N = 1
Not Sourced N = 612

HYD -8.8= not cut for hydration, declare as missing value; Why so many 0.0 readings? What do these mean?

HYD1 = HYD categorized into 4 approximately equally-sized groups of points.

HYD3 = Medicine Lake hydration converted into Tuscan scale using formula on p. 198 in Basgall and Hildebrandt, Vol 1.
Tuscan microns = 0.670 GF/LIW/RS microns - 0.296.

HYD4 is HYD3 divided into categories :

12 point types. This is a string variable.
SPSS uses only the first 8 letters, thus collapsing some of the categories, e.g. Gunther A, B and C become Gunther.

We call our variable (based on SERIES) PTYPE. There are 231 Gunther points, 7 Desert Side-Notched, 411 Clikapudi, 88 McKee, 24 Pollard, 270 Squaw Creek, and 50 Widestems. Gunther points are sometimes considered a time-marker because these small points were used on arrows, and appear with the coming of the bow.