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Comparison of the Ridge and Valley, Blue Ridge, Piedmont, and Coastal Plain Archaic Period Site Distribution: An Idealized Transect (Preliminary Model).

by William M Gardner
Journal of Middle Atlantic Archaeology ()


Discusses sites in a transect from the Shenandoah Valley to the Washington D.C. area, in a cultural-ecological framework. Detailed discussion of each geographical province. In general, links Holocene sea-level rise with change in environment. By c. 6500 B.C., (Middle Archaic), shift from hunting emphasis to foraging. Ranging patterns shifted from a primary focus on lithic sources, to "a focus on the zonal distribution of a generalized, but seasonally available set of resources" (p. 77). This shift is associated, esp. in R&V and Upper Potomac Coastal Plain, with LeCroy points. On coastal plain, emphasis is on inland swamps. In the Valley, on the floodplain and Pleist. terraces. By beginning of Late Archaic (c. 3000 B.C.), swamps de-emphasized for base camps. Instead, base camps seem to be found in diverse areas, including uplands and mountain zones. By c. 1500 B.C., major fishing camps appear at the mouths of second order streams. Farther south, oyster harvesting sites are found.

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