Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation


Finding Submerged Sites : An Exploration of Shoreline and Environmental Change in Oregon’s Yaquina River Basin using GIS Predictive Modeling Public Deposited

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  • Investigations of the Pleistocene peopling of the New World require archaeologists to establish an understanding of the paleoenvironmental conditions that would have affected early foraging peoples. Other studies have focused on the timing and route of migration and the peopling of the Americas. This project contributes to the body of work that explores these questions, by examining the Yaquina River basin of Oregon’s coast through time to better understand how local populations may have utilized and moved throughout this landscape. This is done through detailed examination of GIS based shoreline mapping and predictive modeling for the Yaquina River basin from around 20,000 years ago to the present. Results show that the earliest time periods between 20,000 and 11,000 years ago and the latest time periods after 8,000 years ago had very slow rates of shoreline change and sea level rise. These slow rates of change may not have significantly influenced foraging behavior. Between 10,000 and 8,000 years ago, drastic changes in shoreline shape and sea level rise present a unique and dramatically different environment for coastal foragers not found on Oregon’s coast today. By increasing our understanding of this landscape through time, this study will aid in our ability to protect submerged archaeological materials that may be contained in these currently offshore areas.
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