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The Archaeology of Human-Environmental Dynamics on the North American Atlantic Coast$
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Leslie Reeder-Myers, John A. Turck, and Torben C. Rick

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780813066134

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813066134.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FLORIDA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.florida.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Florida, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FLASO for personal use.date: 27 July 2021

Coastal Adaptations to the Northern Gulf of Maine and Southern Scotian Shelf

Coastal Adaptations to the Northern Gulf of Maine and Southern Scotian Shelf

Chapter:
(p.44) 3 Coastal Adaptations to the Northern Gulf of Maine and Southern Scotian Shelf
Source:
The Archaeology of Human-Environmental Dynamics on the North American Atlantic Coast
Author(s):

Matthew W. Betts

David W. Black

Brian Robinson

Arthur Spiess

, Leslie Reeder-Myers, John A. Turck, Torben C. Rick

Victor D. Thompson

Publisher:
University Press of Florida
DOI:10.5744/florida/9780813066134.003.0003

The northern Gulf of Maine (NGOM) and its watershed have attracted humans for the last 12,500 years (cal BP), and evidence of Palaeoindian marine economies is well established in adjacent regions by ca. 8000 cal BP. Sea level rise (SLR) has obscured understandings of early coastal adaptations, although underwater research and some near-shore sites are providing important insights. The earliest evidence from surviving shell middens dates to ca. 5000 cal BP, and reveals that shellfish collecting and the seasonal exploitation of benthopelagic fish were important throughout the Late Maritime Archaic and Maritime Woodland periods. However, significant economic shifts have occurred. In particular, a Late Archaic focus on marine swordfish hunting was replaced by a dramatic increase in inshore seal hunting in the Maritime Woodland period. After ca. 3100 cal BP, inshore fishing for cod, flounder, sculpin, sturgeon and other species intensified. During the Late Maritime Woodland period, shellfish exploitation declined somewhat and the hunting of small seals, and, in some areas, white-tailed deer, increased sharply. The extent and nature of coastal economies in the NGOM was controlled, in part, by SLR, increasing tidal amplitude, and concomitant changes in surface-water temperatures, in tandem with broad regional cultural shifts.

Keywords:   Palaeoindian, Maritime Archaic, Maritime Woodland, Northern Gulf of Maine, Sea level rise

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