Micromorphological Investigations at Two Intermediate Period Amerindian Sites in Labrador
Type de publication:Conference Paper
Résumé (en anglais):
This poster presents the results of micromorphological investigations conducted at two Intermediate Period Amerindian sites (ca. 3500 - 2000 BP) in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Labrador. Micromorphology - the examination of undisturbed soil and sediment in thin section - was used to investigate, and differentiate between, geologic and anthropogenic processes affecting the sites. Variations in soil particle size and particle sorting between the two sites evince deposition/formation under distinctly different environmental energy regimes. Thin sections from the Ushpitun site (FhCb-4) reveal a well-developed soil (humo-ferric podzol) comprised of moderately to poorly sorted, predominantly coarse sand-size mono- and polymineralic grains. Samples from the Pmiusiku 1 site (FhCc-1) are composed of well sorted, fine sand-size mono- and polymineralic grains. Here, the soil profile (humo-ferric podzol) is less well-expressed. The poorer sorting and larger particle sizes at the Ushpitun site suggest that these sediments were deposited in a high energy environment. The better sorting and finer particle sizes exhibited by the Pmiusiku 1 sediments indicate deposition under relatively lower energy conditions. No direct evidence of human impact was observed in any of the thin sections. The micromorphology supports previous paleoenvironmental reconstructions for Hamilton Inlet, specifically the location of each site with respect to the 3000 BP paleoshoreline. Based upon this reconstruction, the Ushpitun site would have been located along the shoreline of a small island at the head of a peninsular feature (a high energy environment), whereas the Pmiusiku 1 site would have been sheltered near the center of the peninsula (a much lower energy environment).