A Predictive Model for Submerged Prehistoric Sites, Northern New England and Canadian Maritimes

Author(s): Alice Kelley; Daniel Belknap; Joseph Kelley

Year: 2015


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 and surficial geology, combined with complex postglacial sea level changes have created areas of high preservation potential and regions where only isolated, out of context artifacts are likely to remain. Our study of the archaeological preservation potential of the Bass Harbor and Green Ledges areas of the Maine coast illustrate the factors that lead to site formation and preservation in this region: abundant surficial materials available for reworking by waves to form productive terrestrial environments attractive to human use, occasional slow rates of sea-level change, and shelter by islands and shoals from open-ocean waves. While focused on the Maine and the Canadian Maritimes, this model is useful as a starting point for other glaciated regions that have experienced both marine transgression and regression.

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Cite this Record

A Predictive Model for Submerged Prehistoric Sites, Northern New England and Canadian Maritimes. Alice Kelley, Joseph Kelley, Daniel Belknap. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 397161)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -80.815; min lat: 39.3 ; max long: -66.753; max lat: 47.398 ;