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Paleoindian Societies of the Coastal Southeast$
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James S. Dunbar

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780813062686

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813062686.001.0001

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(p.46) 2 Stratigraphy
Paleoindian Societies of the Coastal Southeast

James S. Dunbar

University Press of Florida

Terrestrial, wetland, and underwater sediment types are the focus of chapter 2, and no consideration of stratigraphy would be complete without their examination. Archaeological research has reached the point now that inundated sites are as much a part of the archaeological vocabulary as land sites have been. It is important to realize, for example, that the territorial extent of the Floridan Aquifer in the Southeast Coastal Plain also encompasses one of the major concentrations of Paleoindian sites in the Southeast. This aquifer, an important potable water source, is held in Tertiary limestones that are also chert bearing, making them an important toolmaking resource. Unlike land sites in the Southeast, which typically do not present preserved organic materials, wetland and submerged sites frequently offer preserved bone and organic materials, including plant seeds and wood. Sedimentation in karst rivers is most often neutral to slightly alkaline, whereas most upland sites lie buried in acidic sand. Lake and channel-fill deposits are important receptacles of preservation and will be the focus of future investigations. The rivers and lakes in Florida and the extreme Southeast are of great significance because they do not have their headwaters emanating from mountains and therefore provide us with an excellent record of late Pleistocene environments.

Keywords:   wetland, submerged, archaeological site, Floridan Aquifer, Southeast Coastal Plain, Tertiary, chert, limestone, sediments, stratigraphic context

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