Archaeological and Geomorphic Investigations of Paleoindian Sites near Smith Mountain, VA.


Identification of stratified Paleoindian components in eastern North America is rare. Because few stratified sites exist, cultural chronologies and depictions of Paleoindian lifeways have been drawn from large geographic areas and warrant revision. Recent work along the upper Roanoke River in Virginia has identified several sites that show an almost complete cultural sequence from 8,000 to 13,000 calendar years ago. These sites also show the use of a unique suite of lithic raw materials during the Paleoindian period. This variation in lithic resource use expands our current knowledge of mobility patterns within the Southeast and may highlight specific transportation corridors. A combination of both continuity and change in lithic use between the early Paleoindian and later periods provide insights into shifts in range mobility and variation in landscape use over time. In this paper, we outline our current research strategy along the Roanoke River in the southwestern piedmont of Virginia. We report on new lithic sourcing and efforts to document intact and stratigraphically separate cultural components. This research is also contributing to our understanding of climate change by documenting the localized signature of the Younger Drays and the Pleistocene/Holocene transition, through change in soil development, sedimentation rates, and landscape formation.

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Archaeological and Geomorphic Investigations of Paleoindian Sites near Smith Mountain, VA.. Joseph Gingerich, William Childress, Daniel Wagner, Michael Johnson. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 398180)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -84.067; min lat: 36.031 ; max long: -72.026; max lat: 43.325 ;