The Geoarchaeology of Submerged, Intertidal, And Wetland Places: Advances In Method And Theory of Prehistoric Archaeology Underwater 2015 -- Part 2

Part of: Society for American Archaeology 80th Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA (2015)

This symposium is organized to exhibit recent advances and discoveries from prehistoric sites in fully submerged, intertidal, or now wetland places. These projects include both Academic and CRM projects. These examples are fully geoarchaeological in scope because such research is fundamentally involved with Pleistocene and Holocene sea level fluctuations, coastal and marine geomorphic processes, paleoclimatology, and geophysical remote sensing techniques. Topics will include both freshwater, wetland, intertidal, and fully marine or lacustrine examples, and presenters will discuss survey methods, sediment sampling and analysis, paleogeographic reconstructions, and site predictive models, agency issues for CRM, and Native consultations. A central theme will be the discipline-wide importance of these projects and how submerged prehistoric sites are contributing to our understanding of the past.

Resources Inside This Collection (Viewing 1-11 of 11)

  • Documents (11)

  • Excavation of an Inundated Shell Midden: Methods and Preliminary Findings at a Classic Maya Saltwork (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Valerie Feathers. Heather McKillop. E. Cory Sills.

    The mangrove peat comprising the sea floor at the ancient Maya saltworks in Paynes Creek National Park, Belize, provides an ideal matrix for the preservation of wooden architecture. The acidic peat has preserved wood, charcoal, and botanicals at other inundated saltwork sites in the area. The unexpected discovery and subsequent excavation of an underwater shell midden at the Eleanor Betty Site in 2013 allowed for a greater comparison between the two matrices and their preservational properties....

  • Geoarchaeological approaches: Assessing the formation and preservation of a Late Pleistocene Drowned terrestrial site on the Pacific coast of South America (Chile) (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Isabel Cartajena. Valentina Flores. Cristina Ortega. Diego Carabias. Renato Simonetti.

    GNL Quintero 1 (GNLQ1) is a Late Pleistocene paleontological submerged site located in Quintero Bay (32º46’S), ~50 km north of Valparaíso, on the Pacific coast of Central Chile. We describe the geoarchaeological approach applied by combining geomorphological, bathymetrical, sedimentological and paleontological data with a digital simulation model. The resulting evidence indicates that the unit containing the extinct bone assemblage (Unit 2) was deposited in a low-energy fluvial sedimentary...

  • Geoarchaeological Proxies of Late Holocene Sea Level Rise: Marine Transgression and the Archaeological Record of the Delmarva Peninsula (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Darrin Lowery.

    Understanding the magnitude of sea level rise over the past century is a hot topic in the Chesapeake Bay region. The research presented in this paper combines 20th-century aerial imagery, 19th-century land use data, and geoarchaeological information associated with various coastal archaeological sites to provide a high-resolution marine transgression record spanning the past two centuries. Tide gauge models have suggested that there has been ~1 foot (30cm) to ~1.5 feet (49cm) of sea level rise...

  • A Geoarchaeological Review of the Guest Mammoth Kill Site (8MR130) in the Silver River, Florida (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Morgan Smith.

    The first field school on an underwater prehistoric site in the United States was conducted on the Guest Mammoth site in the Silver River, near Ocala, Florida in the 1970s. This site was touted as a Columbian mammoth kill site, the first found east of the Mississippi River. The excavators presented evidence of this in the form of a single fluted point, six direct percussion flakes, and several pressure flakes found associated with the remains of an adult and a juvenile mammoth. In addition,...

  • Identifying Submerged Paleocultural Landscapes: A Collaborative Archaeological Approach (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only David Robinson. Doug Harris. John King.

    Narragansett Indian Tribal oral history relates to us that "More than 15,000 years ago, the ancient villages of the Narragansett were out where the ocean is now. The waters began to rise overnight and the people had to abandon their homes." This Tribal oral history echoes the regional geological record indicating that at the time of the last glacial maximum, ca. 24,000 years ago, what are now the Atlantic waters of Rhode Island and Block Island sounds were part of a subaerially-exposed...

  • In Too Deep: Excavations of a Partially Inundated Ancient Maya Salt Works at Wiz Naab, Paynes Creek National Park, Belize (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Rachel Watson. Heather McKillop.

    Underwater survey and excavation in a large salt water lagoon between 2004 and 2013 revealed ancient Maya wooden buildings with briquetage—the broken pots from evaporating brine in pots over fires to make salt. Unexpected in the tropical landscape of Belize, the wooden buildings were preserved below the sea floor in mangrove peat, which created an anaerobic matrix. Elsewhere, historically and in modern times, the salt content of the brine was enriched by pouring it through salty soil—reducing...

  • Locating and identifying submerged prehistoric sites as part of CRM (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Grady Caulk. Daniel Hughes. Wendy Weaver.

    Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act requires Federal agencies like the US Army Corps of Engineers to make a reasonable good faith effort to consider the effects of their undertakings on historic properties. The Jacksonville District of the Corps of Engineers has been conducting underwater cultural resource surveys since the 1970’s. While the potential for prehistoric sites has always been considered, technological advances have allowed us to improve our ability to evaluate...

  • A Predictive Model for Submerged Prehistoric Sites, Northern New England and Canadian Maritimes (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Alice Kelley. Joseph Kelley. Daniel Belknap.

    Predictive models to address site location and preservation of submerged cultural resources have improved with growing societal interest in the nearshore. While some commonalities exist and are broadly applicable, working at a local scale requires an understanding of regional geology, geomorphology and sea level history, and the dynamic landscape processes that acted in the region through time. Along the Atlantic coast of Northern New England and the Maritime Provinces of Canada, varying bedrock...

  • Spring Surprise: The Lessons Learned and Unexpected Results of the Chassahowitzka Headsprings Archaeological Assessment and Monitoring Project (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Michael Faught. Michael Arbuthnot.

    In 2013 SEARCH conducted underwater archaeological investigations and monitoring at the Chassahowitzka Headsprings restoration project in Citrus County, Florida. Although the initial underwater survey yielded a sparse artifact count, hundreds of artifacts were recovered during the monitoring of commercial diver's as they removed substantial amounts of algae, detritus, and cultural materials from the springhead with 6-inch induction dredges. Diagnostic and rare artifacts include a Suwannee...

  • The Suitability of Ground-Penetrating Radar for Mapping Sub-Marsh Paleogeography and Implications for Large-Scale Archaeological Surveys of Wetlands and Marshes (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Peter Leach.

    Prehistoric sites beneath modern marshes are uncommon and valuable cultural resources with superior organic preservation potential. Such sites generally offer greater stratigraphic integrity than their terrestrial counterparts as they were not historically plowed. However, these sites are overlooked and understudied in eastern North America due to low visibility, disagreement on surveying strategies, and misperceptions regarding the high costs of investigation and low potential for site...

  • Underwater Geoarchaeology of Perennial Lakes in the Great Basin (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Neil Puckett.

    Underwater archaeology in the Great Basin has been generally ignored because underwater researchers often do not associate this desert with inundated environments. Despite this misconception, many large lakes, marshlands, and rivers are found throughout the region. For instance, northern Nevada includes 168 sizable man-made perennial reservoirs that partially or completely cover 188 known sites. In addition, during the late Pleistocene large lakes of fluctuating size covered many of the valleys...