Natural Formation Processes

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  • Documents (5)

  • Bring on the Boreal: Site formation processes and archaeological interpretation in northern Alberta, Canada (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Krista Gilliland. Robin Woywitka.

    Archaeological sites in Canada’s boreal forest are frequently difficult to interpret due to several factors, including (1) shallow archaeological stratigraphies, (2) non-diagnostic lithics dominate artifact assemblages, (3) low abundances of preserved organic materials, and (4) high potential for disturbance (cryoturbation and bioturbation). These difficulties can contribute to interpretations based on insufficient understandings of site formation processes, producing conclusions that undervalue...

  • Environmental Processes and the Archaeological Record along the Louisiana Coast (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Brian Ostahowski.

    The environmental processes of erosion and subsidence are key post-depositional factors affecting the formation of the archaeological record along coastal Louisiana. These factors contribute to terrestrial archaeological site loss and present researchers with a unique set of challenges for understanding past human behavior at both local and regional scales. From 2010 to 2014, HDR visited a total of 212 sites across 5,293 km during a survey of the Louisiana coast. This paper provides new insights...

  • Fires, Landslides, and All Manner of Varmints: site formation processes at high elevations in the VCNP (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only F. Scott Worman. Anastasia Steffen. Jeffrey W. Hall.

    The Valles Caldera National Preserve in northern New Mexico encompasses a diverse landscape of grassy valleys, forested mountainsides, and rocky peaks, almost entirely more than 2600 m (8500 ft) above sea level. People have visited the area regularly for millennia to access large obsidian quarries and other resources. The long history of human activities has left us a rich archaeological record, but interpreting that record is complicated by the dynamism of the landscape; physical and biological...

  • Frozen Ground (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Ian Buvit.

    Remnants of perennially frozen ground can serve as indicators of past climate changes. Evidence of ground ice like pseudomorphs, or solifluction lobes, for example, has helped us identify cooling events such as the last glacial maximum or the Younger Dryas. Cryogenic activity can also have wide ranging affects on the behavioral context of archaeological sites displacing material from its original location a few millimeters to many meters. Here I illustrate some common types of cryogenic features...

  • Pollen Record Formation Processes in Temperate Zone Archaeological Sites (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Gerald Kelso.

    The pollen spectra of archaeological sites in the temperate zone are subject to post-deposition modifications in the form of earthworms mixing the pollen in the humus zone.They are subsequently percolated downward in rainwater, at rates that vary with the location and nature of the matrix, and are physically degraded by aerobic fungi, by groundwater oxygen, and by repeated hydration and dehydration.These processes produce a profile with the highest pollen concentrations at the top and quantities...