Minimally-Invasive Geoarchaeological Investigation of a Sub-marsh and Intertidal Precontact Site in New Hampshire
Author(s): Peter Leach
Many precontact archaeological sites in New England exhibit poor preservation of organic materials but they occupy relatively stable upland landforms. Conversely, intertidal and submerged sites often contain exceptional organic preservation but exist in or near high-energy and erosive environments. This paper describes minimally-invasive geoarchaeological investigations of an Archaic to Terminal Archaic site in New Hampshire that is buried by salt marsh peat, exposed at a rapidly-eroding shoreline, and discontinuously preserved in a dynamic intertidal zone. Two years of intertidal UAV mapping and digital photogrammetry have generated sub-centimeter digital elevation models and allowed very high resolution assessments of shoreline retreat and sediment mobilization. Recordation of exposed stratigraphic profiles is elucidating the multi-component stratigraphy and complex post-occupation submergence and salt marsh development. Coring the marsh and GPR experiments focus on paleogeographic reconstruction of pre-submergence upland landscapes. Other research areas include radiocarbon dating of occupation horizons and timing of submergence, macrobotanical analyses to identify depositional environments, and foraminifera sampling to constrain paleo-tidal levels. The main goal is to understand the timing and nature of submergence as part of a larger effort to model the preservation potential and location of other sub-marsh, intertidal, and submerged sites in the region.
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Minimally-Invasive Geoarchaeological Investigation of a Sub-marsh and Intertidal Precontact Site in New Hampshire. Peter Leach. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 445231)
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Abstract Id(s): 21993