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Annually-Resolved Environmental proxies in the Great Lakes Region, 14 ka to 10 ka BP: A Time of Paleo-Indian Hunters and Megafauna Extinction

Author(s): Irina Panyushkina ; Steven Leavitt ; John Zawiskie

Year: 2016

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Summary

The last deglaciation was characterized by numerous abrupt climate shifts including the extended Bølling and Allerød warm periods and the Preboreal, Younger Dryas, Older Dryas and Intra-Allerød cold periods, which caused loss of stability across the periglacial landscapes of the Great Lakes region. To date, assessing the possible impact of abrupt late glacial environmental change in this area has been limited by paucity of high-resolution environmental proxies that can be compared to the chronology of Paleo-Indians and megafauna. A Great Lakes Subfossil Tree Ring network (GLSTR) generated from buried wood of the U.S. Midwest addresses this problem through: 1) increased precision of calendar dating of major changes in vegetation, and geohydrology, and 2) tree-ring reconstruction of climatic variability. We use tree-ring proxies (ring-width index, δ13C and δ18O) to demonstrate the possible impact of abrupt environmental change on the pre-Clovis hunters and megafauna of southeast Michigan. This case study provides a model for evaluating this important transition elsewhere through detailed and finely-resolved temporal evidence of hydrological regime shifts during the last deglaciation.


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Annually-Resolved Environmental proxies in the Great Lakes Region, 14 ka to 10 ka BP: A Time of Paleo-Indian Hunters and Megafauna Extinction. Irina Panyushkina, Steven Leavitt, John Zawiskie. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 403424)


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Spatial Coverage

min long: -104.634; min lat: 36.739 ; max long: -80.64; max lat: 49.153 ;

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