Paper No. 4
Presentation Time: 8:55 AM
THE WATER CANYON PALEOINDIAN SITE: A SIGNIFICANT ARCHIVE OF PALEOCLIMATIC DATA FOR THE EARLY HOLOCENE IN WEST-CENTRAL NEW MEXICO
The Water Canyon Paleoindian site near Socorro, New Mexico is directly associated with an extensive buried wet meadow deposit. While extant across the Pleistocene – Holocene transition and into the middle Holocene, this landscape-scale deposit arguably represented a persistent, regional wetland resource, not only for plants and animals, but Paleoindian groups as well. Today, as a black mat, it represents an important proxy data archive for environmental, climatic and archaeological reconstruction. Our recent research efforts at the site have focused largely on the period from 8300 to 9900 radiocarbon years ago, and have generated a range of proxy data, including dated pollen profiles, stable carbon isotope data sets, charcoal species identifications and both faunal and macrobotanical remains. These findings provide us with provocative glimpses of past climates in a heretofore understudied region of the American Southwest.