Changing tides, rising waters: wetland archaeology on Georgia’s lower coastal plain

Author(s): Laura Kate Schnitzer

Year: 2017


The Ogeechee River Valley is an archaeologically under-studied region of southeastern Georgia, but the intensive survey of a state owned wetland mitigation property changes this insufficiency. The recently completed Pierpont Tract survey, commissioned by the Georgia Department of Transportation, identified sites with intact deposits from multiple precontact occupations, spanning from the Late Archaic to the Middle Mississippian periods. Many of these resources lie in seasonally inundated areas traditionally considered too low and swampy for long term habitation, yet cultural deposits were often identified in deeply buried primary contexts. Though inaccessibility and flooding protect the Pierpont sites to some extent from modern disturbances like logging and development, rising sea levels also pose an inevitable threat. The Pierpont survey provides a unique opportunity for investigating a dynamic landscape in a changing climate. Data from the project fills gaps in our understanding of precontact occupation on the interior coastal plain, changes notions of archaeological probability in wetland zones, and initiates a shift in methods used to inventory backswamps and floodplains threatened by rising sea levels.

Cite this Record

Changing tides, rising waters: wetland archaeology on Georgia’s lower coastal plain. Laura Kate Schnitzer. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429564)

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Geographic Keywords
North America - Southeast

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16842