Early Paleoindian big-game hunting in North America: Provisioning or Politics? (2013, Quaternary International 285:111-139)
I was one of several junior authors on this paper. This is a "wait a minute, let's have another look at this" essay in the classic style of John Speth. I have never seen anyone attack a paper like John Speth. It seemed like my inbox contained a new draft and more ethnographic and archaeological examples to think about every morning. It was great fun to work on at the same time as it was in impossible challenge to keep up with him. I am happy that he included me.
I don't subscribe to all aspects of the alternative view that the paper presents - I don't know that any of the authors do. The main premise of the paper is that "there is good reason to think critically about several of the basic components of the conventional view of Early Paleoindian adaptations." I think it is always worthwhile to apply some scrutiny to our interpretations of the past when those interpretations become "convention." Like sunblock, that scrutiny should be re-applied as necessary.
I get the sense that this paper is being read. That feeling is based both on the fact it is getting citations and on many short conversations in bars, elevators, and the parking lots of conference hotels. Many of these conversations start with variations of "Sure, but do you really think . . ." or "You were one of the people on that Paleoindian paper with Speth?" So I think the paper has been successful in that people who are interested in the topic are reading and reacting to it. Brad Lepper of the Ohio Historical Society wrote a nice review of the paper in the January 2013 issue of Mammoth Trumpet. The OHS blog can be found here. Brad's post mentioning the Mammoth Trumpet piece is here.
The picture above shows the Assumption Dissection Tool that we presented to Speth upon publication of the paper. Although he used it on my dissertation, he thankfully did not actually bring it to my defense.