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These are the pearls that were his eyes: interpretive frameworks for submerged Middle Archaic sites in the Big Bend of Florida and the Georgia Bight, U.S.A.

Author(s): Ervan Garrison ; Jessica Cook

Year: 2015

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Summary

Sedentary occupations and monumental architecture first appear during the Middle Archaic (8,000 BP to 5,000 BP) in Florida at sites where marine, estuarine, and riverine resources were exploited, spreading to the coast of Georgia by the Late Archaic, around 4,500 BP. However, the coastline did not reach its modern position until around 5,000 BP, leaving many sites submerged. Fieldwork was initiated in June of 2014 in order to relocate, excavate, and interpret Middle Archaic sites submerged in Apalachee Bay, Florida, that were initially documented during the 1980s and 1990s. Concurrent synthesis of extant datasets gathered off the Georgia coast is also ongoing. Our results highlight issues commonly encountered when working with submerged prehistoric sites: the difficulty in locating/relocating them in an open water context; the need to implement appropriate protocols for recognizing sites as such when encountered; and the need to develop a useful interpretive framework for understanding highly reworked deposits. None of these issues are insurmountable and even disturbed marine sites have potential to elucidate the behaviors of sedentary foragers of the coastal southeastern U.S., and earlier groups. These sites also add to the body of knowledge around site formation processes, a critical need as sea levels rise today.

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These are the pearls that were his eyes: interpretive frameworks for submerged Middle Archaic sites in the Big Bend of Florida and the Georgia Bight, U.S.A.. Jessica Cook, Ervan Garrison. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 394978)


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Spatial Coverage

min long: -91.274; min lat: 24.847 ; max long: -72.642; max lat: 36.386 ;

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America