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AN INTERPRETATION OF THE STRATIGRAPHIC POLLEN RECORD AT THE MILL IRON SITE, SOUTHEASTERN MONTANA

Author(s): Linda Scott Cummings

Year: 1988

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Summary

Previous pollen analysis at the Mill Iron site has yielded evidence of

local vegetation at the time of the Goshen occupation, as well as throughout

portions of the stratigraphic record between that time and the present (Scott

1985; Cummings 1987). The first study (Scott 1985) examined sediments that

yielded radiocarbon ages between 1270 and 4570 BP and indicated that pollen

preservation was sufficient to undertake a more thorough stratigraphic study of

the pollen record. Consistency between this record and others from the Little

Missouri Badlands was noted. A stratigraphic pollen column was collected from

the excavation block during the 1986 field season. Radiocarbon ages from the

bone bed in this area varied from 10760 to 11360 BP. The pollen record

encompassed samples immediately below the bone bed, from the bone bed, and

between the bone bed and the present surface. In addition, samples were

collected from the present surface to provide information on modem pollen rain.

The summer of 1986 was relatively wet and vegetation was relatively lush. This

pollen record indicated local vegetation dominated by Artemisia below the bone

bed, throughout the occupation, and for a considerable part of the pollen record.

A dramatic change was noted approximately half way up the column when Cheno-ams

increased briefly, then Cyperaceae increased dramatically, replacing both Cheno-ams

and Artemisia in the record. This record indicates that at 11,000 BP there

was no spruce forest in the vicinity of the Mill Iron site. The vegetation was

typical of a mixed sagebrush/grass prairie. There is an indication in the

record, however, that pines were more numerous near the base of the record,

declining shortly after the Goshen occupation.


Cite this Record

AN INTERPRETATION OF THE STRATIGRAPHIC POLLEN RECORD AT THE MILL IRON SITE, SOUTHEASTERN MONTANA. Linda Scott Cummings. PRI Technical Report ,1988-016. 1988 ( tDAR id: 376798) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8DB814P


Keywords

Material
Pollen

Site Name
Mill Iron Site

Investigation Types
Data Recovery / Excavation


File Information

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