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Alluvial stratigraphy and geoarchaeology in the Big Fork River Valley, Minnesota: human response to Late Holocene environmental change

By
Christopher L. Hill
Christopher L. Hill
Department of Anthropology and Environmental Studies Program,Boise State University, Boise, ID 83725-1950,USA
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George Rapp
George Rapp
Department of Geosciences,University of Minnesota Duluth, Duluth, MN 55812,USA
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Zhichun Jing
Zhichun Jing
Department of Anthropology,University of British Colombia, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1,Canada
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Published:
January 01, 2011

Abstract

The Late Quaternary geomorphology and stratigraphy of the Big Fork River valley, within the Rainy River basin of northern Minnesota, reveals evidence of prehistoric human interaction with late Holocene riverine environments. By 11 000 14C BP, deglaciation made the region inhabitable by human groups using Clovis artefacts. Human habitation would also have been possible during the Moorhead low-water stage of glacial Lake Agassiz, starting at 10 500 14C BP. Near its confluence with the Rainy River, the valley floor of the Big Fork valley consists of a floodplain complex and two terraces. The multi-component stratified Hannaford site is situated within the active floodplain. Overbank deposits contain artefacts in primary context, whereas artefacts within the point bar deposits are in secondary archaeological context; these deposits are associated with changing alluvial settings as the river moved eastward. Aggradation of the valley fill beneath the lowest surface (T0, floodplain complex) began by 3000 years ago and is associated with human activities focused on seasonal fishing and the use of riparian resources from 1300 to 650 14C BP.

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Contents

Geological Society, London, Special Publications

Human Interactions with the Geosphere: The Geoarchaeological Perspective

L. Wilson
L. Wilson
University of New Brunswick in Saint John, Canada
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Geological Society of London
Volume
352
ISBN electronic:
9781862396005
Publication date:
January 01, 2011

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