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Reassessing Hypsithermal human–environment interaction on the Northern Plains

Elizabeth C. Robertson
Elizabeth C. Robertson
Department of Archaeology and Anthropology,
University of Saskatchewan
Archaeology Building, 55 Campus Drive, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan,
S7N 5B1
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January 01, 2011


Palaeoenvironmental records from the Northern Plains of North America attest to an extended period of Middle Holocene warming and drying, making this a useful region and period for research on long-term human response to marked climate change. However, archaeological perspectives on human–environment interaction during this episode have remained preoccupied with a refugial model that incorporates limited latitude for dynamic human adaptation. In part, this situation reflects the challenging geomorphological and typological obstacles faced by those studying this period. However, this paper argues that our failure to develop new perspectives also reflects a longstanding and continued conservatism that casts Northern Plains lifeways as inflexible and unchanging, rather than dynamic and adaptable.

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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
ISBN electronic:
Publication date:
January 01, 2011




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