Revisiting Julie K. Stein’s "Archaeological Sediments in Cultural Environments": The Nexus Between Lithostratigraphy and Geoarchaeological Research in the Great Plains and Central Lowlands, USA
Author(s): Rolfe Mandel
This is an abstract from the "From Middens to Museums: Papers in Honor of Julie K. Stein" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.
In her seminal 2001 book chapter, Archaeological Sediments in Cultural Contexts, Julie Stein emphasized that identifying and characterizing sedimentary deposits at archaeological sites is crucial to understanding the geologic context of the cultural deposits as well as site formation processes. Archaeologists have taken heed of Julie’s advice and broadened their interest from just the artifacts to include the depositional history of the artifacts. This approach requires an interpretation of the history for all sediment comprising each deposit, including the sediment source, transport agent, depositional environment, and post-depositional alterations (especially soil formation). In this paper, the application of lithostratigraphy in geoarchaeological research is offered as a powerful tool for interpreting the depositional history of sediments and artifacts, and for determining where cultural deposits are likely to occur in buried contexts. Quaternary-age lithostratigraphic units are easily recognized and defined in the field on the basis of observable sediment characteristics, such as color, texture and carbonate morphology. Examples of geoarchaeological studies that employed lithostratigraphy at the site-specific and regional scale in the Great Plains and Central Lowlands are presented.
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Revisiting Julie K. Stein’s "Archaeological Sediments in Cultural Environments": The Nexus Between Lithostratigraphy and Geoarchaeological Research in the Great Plains and Central Lowlands, USA. Rolfe Mandel. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 451410)
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Abstract Id(s): 25964