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A post-glacial relative sea level curve and paleoshoreline archaeological survey for the Prince Rupert Harbour, BC, Canada

Author(s): Jonathan Duelks ; Jacob Jones ; Steve Mozarowski ; John Maxwell ; Bryn Letham

Year: 2017

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Summary

We present a relative sea level (RSL) curve for the Prince Rupert Harbour area for the last 15,000 years that is based on nearly 150 radiocarbon-dated data points. RSL dropped from at least 50 m asl to several m below current sea level immediately after deglaciation, before rising again to 4-6 m asl during the early Holocene. By 6000 years ago RSL had approached its current position, though there have been some late Holocene fluctuations. We used this RSL history in conjunction with LiDAR-derived bare earth models to design and conduct an archaeological survey that targeted ideal landforms on paleoshorelines associated with the early Holocene high stand. We report on several archaeological sites that we found during this survey that date between 6500 and 9500 cal. BP, the oldest archaeological material currently recorded in the Prince Rupert Harbour. In addition, we highlight some other aspects of paleoenvironmental reconstruction for the region based on analyses of diatoms, charcoal, and other sediment characteristics in lake cores. Our research demonstrates the utility of a detailed understanding of RSL history and high resolution LiDAR digital elevation models for designing predictive models for surveying for early Holocene archaeological sites on coastal landscapes.


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A post-glacial relative sea level curve and paleoshoreline archaeological survey for the Prince Rupert Harbour, BC, Canada. Jonathan Duelks, Jacob Jones, Steve Mozarowski, John Maxwell, Bryn Letham. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431571)


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Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16256

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