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Archaeology in a Cretaceous Swamp

Author(s): Collin Rucker ; Robert Rowe

Year: 2015

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Summary

During the Late Paleocene and Early Eocene, a tropic/sub-tropic forest located in a large swamp was located in present day east-central Colorado. Overtime the swamp was enveloped by subsequent volcanic eruptions which resulted in the creation of the Paleosol-Dawson Arkose formation. The primary area of this geological formation is located in Elbert County, between Colorado Springs and the small town of Agate on the plains of Colorado. Large stands of tropical wood, including sycamore, walnut, gingko, sequoia, and palm became silicified as a result of the deposition of the volcanic ejecta. Due to uplifts of the area and subsequent erosion of the formation, large areas of petrified wood have become exposed creating a readily accessible source of stone tool material for native populations to exploit. The presence of this material allowed the native populations to occupy the area with a moderate population. Archaeological surveys in support for the installation of a natural gas pipeline across the study area allowed a unique opportunity for archaeologists to map the area of the silicified wood deposits and determine how much exploitation was taking place and if there was favoritism from type of wood to another.

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Archaeology in a Cretaceous Swamp. Robert Rowe, Collin Rucker. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 397446)


Keywords


Spatial Coverage

min long: -113.95; min lat: 30.751 ; max long: -97.163; max lat: 48.865 ;

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