The Ryan/Harley site: Sedimentology of an inundated Paleoindian site in north Florida

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The Ryan/Harley site (Florida Master Site File Number: 8Je-1004) is a Middle Paleoindian habitation site containing Suwannee points. Based on stratigraphic correlation and diagnostic artifact seriation, Suwannee-age sites have been relatively dated from ??? 10,900 14C yr B.P to ??? 10,500 14C yr B.P. Clovis-like traits on the Suwannee points and other stone tools from the Ryan/Harley site suggest it dates to the earlier end of the Suwannee timeframe. The currently inundated site is partially buried beneath a sediment column located in a swamp forest and partially exposed in a side channel section of the Wacissa River, Jefferson County, Florida. Research done prior to this analysis determined that the artifact assemblage appeared to be unsorted and was contained in a midden-like unit. Our purpose here is to assess the issue of site integrity further. Unconsolidated sediment samples collected from the artifact-bearing horizon and from horizons immediately above and below the artifact horizon were analyzed using granulometric techniques. Arithmetic probability plots of the grain-size distributions show that the sediments were transported and deposited by fluvial processes. Thus, the Suwannee points and associated artifacts, and faunal remains appear to have accumulated during a time of subaerial exposure perhaps after a regional water-table decline, and have remained largely or essentially intact, with little or no postdepositional reworking. The artifacts and faunal remains recovered from the artifact-bearing horizon at Ryan/Harley are distributed randomly, showing no sign of sorting. In the fossil suite, two articulated white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) vertebra were recovered in situ. The unsorted nature of artifacts and articulated faunal remains that are contained within the fluvially deposited sediments suggests the Suwannee point level of the Ryan/Harley site has remained undisturbed since original deposition. ?? 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title The Ryan/Harley site: Sedimentology of an inundated Paleoindian site in north Florida
Series title Geoarchaeology
DOI 10.1002/gea.20109
Volume 21
Issue 4
Year Published 2006
Language English
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Geoarchaeology
First page 363
Last page 391
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