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Working Within the Curves: Examining Issues of Resolution and Accuracy When Using Sea-Level Curves in Archaeological Contexts

Author(s): Martin Walker ; Thaddeus Bissett

Year: 2016

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Summary

Sea-level curves have been one of the main tools used within archaeology to understand human settlement patterns in coastal environments. Questions remain, however, about which curve (or curves) are most appropriately used both at different geographic and temporal resolutions. In order to evaluate these differences in resolution, we examine 161 radiocarbon dates from 32 shell rings from across the lower Atlantic and Gulf coasts. We then plot them against a regional high-resolution reconstruction of past sea levels and local sea-level curves to assess curve-specific differences in predictions about sea levels, shoreline migration, and the extent of intertidal zones near dated shell rings between 6000 and 2500 cal BP. This paper furthers the discussion regarding coastal sea-level curves and the balance between hypothesis testing and understanding the limitations of existing data sets.


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Working Within the Curves: Examining Issues of Resolution and Accuracy When Using Sea-Level Curves in Archaeological Contexts. Martin Walker, Thaddeus Bissett. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 404944)


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Spatial Coverage

min long: -91.274; min lat: 24.847 ; max long: -72.642; max lat: 36.386 ;

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