Climate Change Impacts on Archaeological Sites of the Middle Atlantic Uplands (U.S.)
Author(s): Carole Nash
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.
At first glance, the archaeological resources of the uplands of the North American Middle Atlantic region are much less vulnerable to the impacts of climate change than are tidal or coastal sites. However, as the impacts of climate change become more pronounced, archaeological sites of the uplands -- including settings in the Appalachian Mountains, foothills and Piedmont plateau -- are subject to a different set of impacts associated with forest cover and slope: drought and high winds that create conditions for frequent wildfires; and extreme precipitation events that lead to severe erosion, flash flooding, or rapid mass wasting. This paper considers examples of such events in recent years and argues that the fragile stratigraphy of upland sites is further compromised by climate change-related extreme weather and fire occurrences. Soil deflation, in particular, creates lagged surfaces where once stratigraphically-separated cultural horizons collapse into each other. The limited amount of field work undertaken in the uplands relative to the lowlands magnifies the loss.
Cite this Record
Climate Change Impacts on Archaeological Sites of the Middle Atlantic Uplands (U.S.). Carole Nash. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 452352)
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Abstract Id(s): 24472