Anthropogenic Fire Management and Changing Land-Use Strategies in the Mammoth Cave Plateau and Sinkhole Plain, Central Kentucky, USA
In the Mammoth Cave Plateau and the Sinkhole Plain of Central Kentucky, caves and rockshelters are the primary site type. The Plateau contains little arable bottom land, but cliff overhangs, caves, and perennial streams and springs are abundant. The Sinkhole Plain has abundant arable land, but surface water is quickly diverted to underground streams and permanent water sources are limited to caves and karst windows. We compare the archaeology of two important cave sites—Salts Cave in the Plateau and Crumps Cave in the Sinkhole Plain—with regard to their chronology of occupation, range of prehistoric activities, and evidence of anthropogenic forest impacts, especially by fire. In Central Kentucky, the Late Archaic-Early Woodland transition (ca. 3500-2500 BP) is a critical period for changes in land use, adoption of new subsistence technologies, and socio-economic reorganization. We hypothesize that human groups occupying the forested uplands and Sinkhole Plain asserted new forms of property relations that required greater socio-economic control and incentivized investment in landesque capital. Throughout this transition, caves and rockshelters remained the primary site type.
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Anthropogenic Fire Management and Changing Land-Use Strategies in the Mammoth Cave Plateau and Sinkhole Plain, Central Kentucky, USA. Justin Carlson, George Crothers. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 396035)
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min long: -91.274; min lat: 24.847 ; max long: -72.642; max lat: 36.386 ;