Coastal Dune Activation, Stabilization and Cycling: The Taphonomy of Buried and Stratified Archaeological Sites in the Lake Michigan Basin
Publication Type:Conference Paper
Our research is directed at understanding the processes that contribute to the formation and preservation of buried and stratified archaeological sites in coastal dunes, particularly as such formation and preservation relates to the periodic cycling of activation and stabilization episodes. We have systematically dated deposits of coastal eolian sand, and paleosols contained within them, via OSL and radiocarbon dating respectively, to reconstruct these relationships. Samples were drawn from many sites by deep coring and at others by hand where good vertical exposures occur. These dates were augmented with AMS ages derived from carbonized residues on curated ceramics of varying age. Preliminary analyses of these data suggest that geoarchaeological relationships in coastal dunes vary in space and time, with at least four coastal partitions present. In general, older sites are more likely to be preserved in the southeastern part of the lake basin, whereas they are absent northward. We discuss the related contributions of isostatic uplift, lake level fluctuation, and wind direction to this variability.