Archaeology on Sheppard’s Island: Predictive Modeling and Heritage Preservation in Delaware’s Inter-Tidal Zone
Author(s): Heather Wholey
This is an abstract from the "The Middle Atlantic Regional Transect Approach to Climate Change Impacts on Archaeological Resources" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.
The Delaware Bay is the second largest estuary along the U.S. Atlantic coast and is experiencing some of the gravest effects from sea level rise. Most of the estuarine shoreline is fringed by salt marshes that have been developing for over 2,000 years but are now being lost at a rate of up to an acre/day. The trend suggests that most of the Delaware Bay wetlands may convert to open water and that this will occur at a variable rate. A multi-disciplinary pilot project bringing together archaeology and coastal geomorphology to assess these threats has been implemented to 1) conduct paleo-landscape reconstructions at selected sites through sediment coring; 2) document coastal archaeological resources within the Delaware estuary through systematic archaeological survey; and, 3) refine predictive models for the discovery of archaeological sites and the impacts of sea level rise on those resources. The inter-tidal zone of the Delaware estuary has been understudied archaeologically, but results thus far suggest that this area is archaeologically rich, is on the front-line for experiencing adverse effects from sea level rise, and serves as a harbinger for the impacts of environmental changes on cultural resources along the estuary.
Cite this Record
Archaeology on Sheppard’s Island: Predictive Modeling and Heritage Preservation in Delaware’s Inter-Tidal Zone. Heather Wholey. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 452350)
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Abstract Id(s): 24764