New Carbon-14 (14C) Dates on "Old" Cultural Components near Quartz Lake, Interior Alaska


As part of the Quartz Lake/Shaw Creek Flats research initiative, excavations took place in 2014 at the Cook, Keystone Dune and Klein sites in the middle Tanana Valley, interior Alaska. Although these sites were previously tested, continued excavation was vital to expand the 14C chronology and enhance understanding of prehistoric subarctic foraging behavior and paleoecology. At the Klein site, our goal was to gather more geochronological information on a component previously dated ~3700-5100 cal. B.P. New excavations revealed additional datable cultural remains from this underrepresented period. Excavation at the Keystone Dune site (KDS) exposed a hearth and the first in situ artifacts and faunal remains (extinct elk [wapiti]) found at this locale, despite more than ten years of intensive inspection. The KDS remains are located on a soil dated to ~12,600 cal. B.P. Finally, Cook site excavations revealed a deeper component and older soils (thought to date to >9000 cal. B.P.). Closely associated animal bone and charcoal samples provide the initial 14C chronology for this deeper component. These findings add to a growing body of archaeological data in the region that dates back ~14,000 years, allowing for a refined chronology of human land use in this subarctic lowland setting.

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New Carbon-14 (14C) Dates on "Old" Cultural Components near Quartz Lake, Interior Alaska. Jennifer Kielhofer, Josh Reuther, Francois Lanoë, Dave Plaskett, Jason Rogers. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 397968)

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