Paper No. 15-7
Presentation Time: 3:55 PM
THE REVERSING FALLS SITE (80.15 ME), PEMBROKE, MAINE: AN ERODING MIDDLE WOODLAND SITE IN A UNIQUE GEOLOGICAL SETTING
We discuss the Reversing Falls archaeological site (80.15 ME) in Pembroke, Washington County, Maine. The site overlooks the Reversing Falls—for which it is named—in Dennys Bay. This dramatic hydrogeographic feature is comprised of a series of rocky shoals over which, as tides rise and fall, water cascades through a narrow channel, producing a strong reversing falls. For much of tidal cycle, the falls create hazardous conditions for watercraft, but at slack tide the passage can be crossed, eliminating a several mile portage when traveling up and down the coast. The site's association with a potentially dangerous hydrogeographic feature, along with it being located ca. 0.5 km from the nearest soft shell clam flat, make its location atypical. The site has yielded a Middle Woodland radiocarbon date and is technologically consistent with other Middle Woodland sites from the region. However, in addition to a fairly typical suite of vertebrate archaeofaunas, the site exhibits a diverse array of shellfish remains that presumably reflect variety in the capture and dietary contribution of invertebrates that is unique in the region. In addition to reporting on our recent excavations at the site, we discuss our controlled collection of artifacts which have eroded out of the site and now lie in the intertidal zone. There is a strong possibility that the site is chronologically shingled, with earlier components represented only as eroded finds.