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ABSTRACT

Regional-scale processes of tectonism, late Quaternary marine transgression, and patterns of aeolian deposition and erosion largely control the geoarchaeological character of the Oregon coast. Dramatic changes to the landscape of the Oregon coast since the Last Glacial Maximum drove the evolution of terrestrial and marine environmental processes which in turn conditioned the location and nature of prehistoric human activities. Due to the geologic complexities of Oregon's coast, archaeological investigations must address a broad range of geological factors that worked to greatly modify the ancient coastal landscape. In many ways, the modern Oregon coastline bears little resemblance to that associated with prehistoric coastal peoples prior to 3000 years ago, requiring geoscientific perspectives to reconstruct the late Quaternary environmental context. Through the integration of geologic concepts and information, geoarchaeology offers an effective means of finding early sites in the modern coastal landscape and in the now-submerged paleocoastal landscape.

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