Archaeological Landscapes during the 10–8 ka Lake Stanley Lowstand on the Alpena‐Amberley Ridge, Lake Huron
Archaeologists have long been interested in the Lake Stanley lowstand event (∼10–8 ka) in the Lake Huron basin, as archaeological sites from the Late Paleoindian/Early Archaic cultural periods were inundated by subsequent high water levels. Recent archaeological and paleoenvironmental investigations of this submerged landscape have documented stone structures that were likely utilized for caribou hunting by these cultural groups during the late Lake Stanley lowstand phase of Lake Huron. In 2011 and 2012, a total of 67 core, sediment, and rock samples were collected in a 50 km 2 area by divers and a ponar sampler deployed from a survey vessel. These samples were analyzed for sediment size, sorting, morphology and source, organic and carbonate content, testate amoebae, and organic materials. A series of indicators, including distinct microfossil assemblages (such as species only found in sphagnum moss and boggy arctic ponds), rooted trees (tamarack and spruce), and charcoal (ca. 8–9000 yr old) reveal a series of microenvironments that are consistent with a subarctic climate. The analysis of the Alpena‐Amberley Ridge provides a detailed picture of the environment exploited by ancient peoples during the Lake Stanley lowstand period. The methodologies employed in this study can in turn help identify other unique microregions that may yield more archaeological sites with less obvious archaeological footprints.
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