IMPACT OF SEA LEVEL RISE ON HERITAGE RESOURCES OF THE DELAWARE ESTUARY
Using geoarchaeological approach we conducted paleo-landscape reconstructions at selected sites with documented coastal archeological resources in order to reveal connections between human settlement and coastal environments. We also conducted archaeological survey on Sheppard’s Island, Delaware producing non-diagnostic archaeological evidence for human occupancy. Using stratigraphic data and ArcGIS modeling, we reconstructed the coastal landscape at Sheppard’s island during the time of human occupation. We use paleo-environmental and sea-level history reconstructions at archeological sites and used them to predict future changes.
We are applying the knowledge of wetland evolution driven by SLR from site specific to estuarine scale in order to assess the vulnerability of existing cultural resources along the coast of the Delaware Bay. Our multi-disciplinary approach will contribute to the development of a multi-scalar “Landscape Archaeology of Wetlands” methodology for contextualizing the archaeological record of wetland landscapes (Gearey, et al, 2018). The results will help to prioritize protection of Mid-Atlantic heritage resources and promote the development of stakeholder partnerships for future resources conservation and/or management.