2008 Joint Meeting of The Geological Society of America, Soil Science Society of America, American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies with the Gulf Coast Section of SEPM

Paper No. 5
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-6:00 PM

Paleoenvironmental Reconstruction of a Prehistoric Shell Fishing Camp along a North Shore Long Island Estuary

KENNEDY Jr, Michael1, CHRISTENSEN, Beth A.1, DECOTA, Kenneth2 and VETTER, John1, (1)Environmental Studies Program, Adelphi University, Science 103, 1 South Ave, Garden City, NY 11530, (2)Anthropology, Adelphi University, Blodgett 102, 1 South Ave, Garden City, NY 11530, michaelkennedy@adelphi.edu

Leeds Pond is an anthropogenically modified tidal estuary located on the north shore of Long Island, New York. The pond is fed by fresh water streams, and empties into Manhasset Bay. It is located in the Leeds Pond Preserve, which is a park that is owned by Nassau County and maintained by the Science Museum of Long Island. Archaeological evidence suggests that the site has been continuously occupied for at least 2,700 years. The Leeds Pond site is one of many prehistoric campsites in the region and studies suggest the environment of the area would have been conducive to supporting a biologically diverse number of species.

The goal of this research project is to better understand the changing environmental conditions of the Leeds Pond area. Since 1981, the Adelphi University Anthropology department has excavated the area. While previous interpretations of the paleoenviroment were gathered from secondary sources (i.e. Sam Yeaton's "A Natural History of Long Island") this is the first attempt at performing a primary analysis of the site based on sediment samples taken from a test pit. Samples were taken from the test pit excavated during the Spring 2008 semester, at 10cm intervals with a total of 13 samples taken. The lithology of the site changes from a dark brown mottle mix of sand and silt, continuing until a shell midden at 100cm, and then transitions to a tan sandy sediment at 139.7cm at bottom. A grain size analysis was performed to determine the facies and paleoenviromental environment. The coarse fraction was analyzed using the Ro-Tap, and the fine fraction using a Micrometics sedigraph 5120.