Chronometry at Bear Creek, a ~12,000 Year-Old Site in Western Washington

Author(s): Jack Johnson

Year: 2017


Extant deposits at the Bear Creek site are highly compositionally variable, including fibrous peat, fluvial sands, volcanic tephra, and diatomaceous earth, reflecting a series of significant Holocene changes to the local environment. Multiple methods were used to directly date each of these sediments, including radiocarbon dating, single-grain IRSL dating of feldspar, OSL dating of fine-grained quartz, and tephra dating. Results from independent chronometric methods were then integrated with Bayesian analysis performed in OxCal 4.2 to allow statistical assessment of the stratigraphic compatibility of individual dates, to identify significant outliers, and to generate a comprehensive site chronology. Results show a high degree of success; individual dates were generally stratigraphically compatible, with excellent statistical agreement between independent chronometric methods. Results therefore firmly establish the antiquity of the early Bear Creek cultural component at ~12,000 years old and provide a detailed depositional history spanning roughly 9,000 years of local environmental change.

Cite this Record

Chronometry at Bear Creek, a ~12,000 Year-Old Site in Western Washington. Jack Johnson. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430710)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -169.717; min lat: 42.553 ; max long: -122.607; max lat: 71.301 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 17121

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