Archaeologists excavating Archaic and Woodland Period sites on sandy, unconsolidated soils in the Northeastern U.S. have identified deep soil features (hereafter DSFs) that are challenging to interpret. Though hundreds of these basin-shaped features have been recorded, archaeologists do not agree as to whether or not they are anthropogenic. Competing hypotheses have suggested that DSFs constitute the remnants of semi-subterranean pit houses, or, alternately, soil disturbances generated by naturally occurring tree throws. This dissertation presents a case study of a DSF complex at southeastern Connecticut's Preston Plains Site. Its analytical design combines scholarship, empirically-based data assessments, and hypothesis testing to holistically inform an interpretation of the genesis and cultural significance of DSFs here. Its results discount the pit house hypothesis while supporting the tree throw hypothesis according to multiple lines of evidence. A simple and flexible model is proposed to explain how tree throws are modified through time to express the variety of forms and stratigraphies observed in DSFs, furthermore, it is determined that the pit-and-mound microtopographies afforded by ancient tree throws at Preston Plains were targeted by small groups of Late Archaic Period (ca. 5000-3000 BP) foragers as elements of short-term residential sites. While archaeologists have already determined that Mesolithic and early Neolithic Europeans utilized such topographies as site elements, this study provides the most detailed set of supporting evidence of such behavior to date.
|Advisor:||McBride, Kevin A.|
|School:||University of Connecticut|
|School Location:||United States -- Connecticut|
|Source:||DAI-A 71/11, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Archaeology, Cultural Resources Management, Geomorphology, Native American studies|
|Keywords:||Connecticut, Deep soil features, Forager, Late Archaic, Native American, Preston Plains Site, Tree throw|
Copyright in each Dissertation and Thesis is retained by the author. All Rights Reserved
The supplemental file or files you are about to download were provided to ProQuest by the author as part of a
dissertation or thesis. The supplemental files are provided "AS IS" without warranty. ProQuest is not responsible for the
content, format or impact on the supplemental file(s) on our system. in some cases, the file type may be unknown or
may be a .exe file. We recommend caution as you open such files.
Copyright of the original materials contained in the supplemental file is retained by the author and your access to the
supplemental files is subject to the ProQuest Terms and Conditions of use.
Depending on the size of the file(s) you are downloading, the system may take some time to download them. Please be