Paper No. 10
Presentation Time: 11:10 AM
GEOARCHAEOLOGY IN OKLAHOMA: A HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE
Since 1901, Indian Territory, now known as Oklahoma, has sporadically had locations investigated by geologists, biologists, or archaeologists seeking to identify or discredit finds purported as evidence for a Pleistocene human presence on the Southern Plains. Such investigations usually called into question taphonomic issues regarding the association of human artifacts with Pleistocene fauna. By 1935, researchers were recognizing the potential of deeply buried soils for garnering information on past vegetation, climate changes, and human adaptations. Since that time, Oklahoma sites like Domebo, Cooper, Waugh, and Jake's Bluff have yielded notable insight to diverse Pleistocene to Holocene settings and Clovis or Folsom people's use of them. More controversial, the Burnham site has yielded artifacts associated with bison remains precursor to Bison antiquus but in mid-Wisconsinan lacustrine deposits. Since 1961, geoarchaeology has played a key role in interdisciplinary studies that are beginning to flesh out the timing and character of climatic and landscape changes, particulary in the Rolling Redbed Plains of central and western Oklahoma.