Human Adaptations to Lateglacial and Early Holocene Climate and Environmental Changes: Towards a Trans-Atlantic Perspective (Part 1)

Part of: Society for American Archaeology 81st Annual Meeting, Orlando, FL (2016)

Increasing resolution of paleoenvironmental records are beginning to show the spatiotemporal dynamics of ecosystem responses to different climate changes during the Lateglacial and early Holocene. A primary cause of many of these climate changes were glacier meltwater outbursts from the Laurentide Ice Sheet into the North Atlantic. At present there has been more consideration of the impacts of these different abrupt climate change events on European than North American human populations. This session sets the foundations for bridging this gap and connecting researchers investigating these questions in Europe with researchers investigating these questions in North America. The session seeks to know what particular periods of climate and environmental change impacted both North American and European populations, as well as the periods when there were no such impacts, and where these impacts or non-impacts occurred. Presentations will focus on questions of 1) paleoenvironmental and archaeological data quality and amenability for integration and tests of correlation, 2) temporal leads and lags in local or regional ecosystem and/or human responses to climate change events, and 3) the specific adaptive strategies employed in these human responses (e.g. population collapse, mobility, social networks, raw materials, lithic technology).

Resources Inside This Collection (Viewing 1-13 of 13)

  • Documents (13)

  • The 8.2ka event evidence for human-environment interaction in north-west Atlantic Europe (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Seren Griffiths. Erick Robinson. Philip Buckland. Ralph Fyfe. Kevan Edinborough.

    The 8.2ka ’event’ is represented by significant cooling in multi-proxy palaeoenvironmental records (e.g. Alley et al. 1997; Kobashi et al. 2007; Thomas et al. 2007; cf. Wiersma 2008). This temperature drop, and its related consequences, have been presented as factors in human social changes across Europe and the Near East (e.g. Roberts et al. 2011; van der Plicht et al. 2011). However, given the complexity of regional and local ecosystems, the impacts across broad geographical scales were likely...

  • Annually-Resolved Environmental proxies in the Great Lakes Region, 14 ka to 10 ka BP: A Time of Paleo-Indian Hunters and Megafauna Extinction (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Irina Panyushkina. Steven Leavitt. John Zawiskie.

    The last deglaciation was characterized by numerous abrupt climate shifts including the extended Bølling and Allerød warm periods and the Preboreal, Younger Dryas, Older Dryas and Intra-Allerød cold periods, which caused loss of stability across the periglacial landscapes of the Great Lakes region. To date, assessing the possible impact of abrupt late glacial environmental change in this area has been limited by paucity of high-resolution environmental proxies that can be compared to the...

  • A Bayesian Approach to the Paleoindian Colonization of the Northeastern US (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Nathaniel Kitchel. Bryan Shuman. Joseph Gingerich. Erick Robinson.

    Research on the Paleoindian colonization of the northeastern US suffers from numerous chronological problems. These problems are exacerbated by the use of summed probability distributions, which do not take into account the unique sampling issues and specific probability distributions of individual dates and their particular relationships to archaeological contexts. This paper introduces a Bayesian statistical approach to clarify some of these problems and raise new questions about early...

  • Creating a Discovery Model for Submerged Late Pleistocene and Early Holocene Sites on the Northern Gulf Coast (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Thaddeus Bissett. David Anderson. Martin Walker.

    Between 13,000 and 12,300 BP, sea levels in the Gulf of Mexico increased rapidly. For the next 2,300 years, however, sea levels both rose and fell by centimeters per year, producing significant shoreline movement observable within a human lifetime. Because of continental shelf’s topography, however, shorelines in different areas did not shift at the same rate. Areas with minimal movement would have seemed more stable and attractive for repeated occupations over generations. This paper models of...

  • Developing intra- and inter-continental research networks for the study of human adaptations to Lateglacial and early Holocene environmental changes (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Felix Riede. Erick Robinson.

    Over the last decade our knowledge of human-environment interaction in prehistory has been radically transformed. It has become increasingly apparent that prehistoric humans had to cope with a vast range of different environmental changes that had their own particular temporal and spatial dynamics. These changes ranged from millennial- and continental-scale ecosystem turnover and sea-level rise, to centennial- and hemispheric-scale abrupt climate change events, to extreme events such as tsunamis...

  • Flooding, Drought, Fires and Extinctions: How Did Florida’s Foragers Respond to the Pleistocene-Holocene Transition? (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Jessi Halligan. Michael Waters.

    While directly-dated sites are somewhat rare, northern Florida contains an extremely rich archaeological record of diagnostic artifacts from the Paleoindian and Early Archaic periods. Very commonly, Early Archaic diagnostics are discovered at the same sites as Paleoindian diagnostics. The Paleoindian components are presumed to be Pleistocene in age, while the Early Archaic is generally but not universally associated with early Holocene ages. Recent research we have been conducting in...

  • Late Pleistocene and Holocene Abrupt Climate Change and Human Response in the Southeastern United States (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Christopher Moore. Mark Brooks. I. Randolph Daniel Jr..

    As a result of the analysis of high-resolution global and regional paleoclimate records, we now know that our “stable” Holocene climate has been punctuated with periods of rapid and synchronous change, including rapid changes in temperature, available moisture, and vegetation. Far from being a period of climatic stability, recent studies suggest abrupt climate change during the Holocene including departures in temperature and precipitation with millennial-scale cyclicity that operates...

  • Late Pleistocene-Early Holocene Adaptations in the Lower Mid-South, United States (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only D. Shane Miller. Jesse Tune. Ryan Parrish.

    The Lower Mid-South has a rich history of archaeological research and provides a valuable dataset for exploring the relationships between climate and culture. Here, we provide an overview of the available paleo-environmental and archaeological data in this area, and argue that there were significant changes in diet, landscape use, and technological organization. The possibility that localized territories are established in the Southeast prior to the onset of the Holocene is critically evaluated....

  • The New England-Maritimes: Environments and Human Lifeways from the Late Pleistocene into Early Holocene (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Jonathan Lothrop. Arthur Spiess.

    The New England-Maritimes (NEM) region in northeastern North America is noted for clear environmental signals of the Younger Dryas climatic reversal (circa 12,900-11,600 Cal BP), followed by an abrupt transition to a warmer and more dry early Holocene climate. In this paper, we first review evidence for changes in paleoenvironments and animal populations that accompanied these climatic transitions in the NEM. We then examine archaeological evidence for early human occupations in the region,...

  • North-South as well as East-West: Moroccan and Iberian Pleistocene-Holocene archaeofaunas in an Atlantic context (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Emily Lena Jones.

    While Pleistocene-Holocene archaeofaunas from the Iberian peninsula are relatively well-documented, these data are often considered in isolation from the larger Atlantic context. In this paper, I consider archaeofaunas from Eastern Iberia - Portugal and the Galicia region of Spain - in comparison with what we know about animal exploitation in Atlantic Morocco and the East Coast of North America. I assess the nature and completeness of the archaeofaunal record in these regions and explore...

  • Paleoenvironments and Paleoindians in the Lower Mississippi River Valley (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Thomas Jennings. Ashley Smallwood. Charlotte Pevny.

    Throughout much of the last Ice Age, the Mississippi River, along with its tributaries, served as a key outflow conduit for glacial meltwater, funneling and depositing vast amounts of sediments south towards and into the Gulf of Mexico. During and after the Younger Dryas, this geomorphic system underwent significant changes caused by meltwater drainage fluctuations and sea level oscillations. In this paper, we review how paleoenvironmental changes associated with the Younger Dryas affected the...

  • Paleoindian uses of Maritime Environments in the Far Northeast (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Jess Robinson. John Crock. Wetherbee Dorshow.

    This paper explores the Paleoindian uses of the Champlain Sea (an inland arm of the Atlantic Ocean) over the course of the Paleoindian period. Environmental Changes that may have precipitated changes in subsistence and settlement patterns will also be discussed. Finally, scant but intriguing information from the Atlantic Continental shelf in the Far Northeastern region will be used as a proxy to explore and evaluate the settlement patterns demonstrated farther inland.

  • Terminal Pleistocene Depositional Patterns and their Hypothesized Impact on Human Populations in the Middle Atlantic Region, USA (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Joseph Gingerich. Daniel Wagner. Kurt Carr.

    Depositional regimes determine the burial and preservation of archaeological sites. Before, during, and after the Younger Dryas interval, we see differences in depositional patterns throughout the Middle Atlantic Region of the United States. In this paper we explore both differences and similarities in alluvial and eolian deposition within the Middle Atlantic Coastal Plain, Piedmont, and Ridge and Valley physiographic provinces of eastern North America. Using select case studies, we explore what...