2011 GSA Annual Meeting in Minneapolis (912 October 2011)
Paper No. 95-8
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:00 PM

THE SAND HILLS CULTURAL LANDSCAPE IN RESPONSE TO A FLUCTUATING ENVIRONMENT DURING AND AFTER THE MEDIEVAL CLIMATE PERIOD: PRELIMINARY RESULTS

NAPIER, Tiffany1, GOBLE, R.J.2, WANDSNIDER, L.3, and DOUGLASS, Matthew J.3, (1) University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE 68508, tiffany_napier@hotmail.com, (2) Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, 68583, (3) Anthropology, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, 68583

Recent research utilizing optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating has identified a period of sand dune reactivation in the Nebraska Sand Hills during the Medieval Climate Period (MCP) from AD 900 to 1300. The dating of these sand dunes indicates a time-transgressive pattern of dune activity, older in the northwest and younger in the southeast. This was interpreted as reflecting re-vegetation of the Sand Hills from northwest to southeast at the end of a period of drought. The reactivation and re-vegetation of sand dunes during and after the MCP respectively, is likely to have affected the lives of indigenous peoples in the Nebraska Sand Hills. However, a chronology of human occupation during the period of environmental fluctuation is currently lacking within the region. Here I present results of an ongoing study to date previously known archaeological occurrences using OSL. Sediment samples were collected from within and directly adjacent to the cultural layer of each of the selected archaeological sites. The OSL technique is also being tested on pottery sherds collected from each site when available. Combined sediment and pottery sherd age determinations will provide key information regarding temporal and spatial patterns of agriculturalists with respect to the MCP. This chronological control, in combination with information garnered from the archaeological sites under study, will provide insights into the response of native peoples to environmental fluctuations during the Late Prehistoric period.

2011 GSA Annual Meeting in Minneapolis (912 October 2011)
General Information for this Meeting
Session No. 95--Booth# 8
Archaeological Geology (Posters)
Minneapolis Convention Center: Hall C
9:00 AM-6:00 PM, Monday, 10 October 2011

Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 43, No. 5, p. 245

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