Problems in the Use of Sea-Level Data for Archaeological Reconstructions

  • Douglas C. Kellogg
Part of the Interdisciplinary Contributions to Archaeology book series (IDCA)

Abstract

Accurate environmental reconstructions are essential for modeling cultural responses to changing environments and testing archaeological hypotheses of cultural adaptation. The character of the paleoenvironmental record and assumptions inherent in analyzing and interpreting data must therefore be appreciated by archaeologists (Dincauze 1978, 1981). Fluctuating sea levels are dominant in determining the character and development of Holocene coastal environments (Fladmark 1983; Perlman 1980; Richardson 1981; Salwen 1975). This paper considers problems in the use of sea-level data and in constructing sea-level curves. The emphasis is on sources of data, not on actual techniques of reconstructing paleoenvironments. The goal is to provide the reader with a critical introduction to sea-level studies and to the sea-level literature. An extensive bibliography includes the classic references and current reviews of Holocene sea-level data, where more detail can be found on particular topics. The history of sea level in the Gulf of Maine is summarized to illustrate the complexities that may be encountered. Although the focus is on the Atlantic coast of North America, the issues discussed are global.

Keywords

Sandstone Sedimentation Cretaceous Beach Holocene 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Douglas C. Kellogg
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Quaternary StudiesUniversity of MaineOronoUSA

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