Reconsidering the process for bow-stave removal from juniper trees in the Great Basin
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Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology. 37(2): 125-131.
We question the growth arrestment hypothesis for bow stave removal used by indigenous people in the western Great Basin. Using modern understanding of tree growth and wound response, we suggest that growth would not be arrested by one or two transverse notches along a juniper stem. Rather these would trigger compartmentalization, which limits cambial death to within 10 cm of the wound, and wound closure. Seasoning on the stem, as suggested by the hypothesis, would not occur as 90% of the cambium between the notches would remain alive. Further, wound closure growth ("wound wood") is disorganized and of low density, unlikely to make future high-quality staves, as also suggested by the hypothesis.
Keywordsbow staves; juniper; Great Basin; archaeology
Millar, Constance I.; Smith, Kevin T. 2017. Reconsidering the process for bow-stave removal from juniper trees in the Great Basin. Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology. 37(2): 125-131.