Hunter-Gatherer Site in Colorado
Hunter and gather groups leave little in the way of architecture that can be directly imaged using either GPR or magnetic mapping. A site along the Colorado Front Range contains artifacts that span almost 6,000 years of time, but little was preserved in the way of architecture. Magnetic anomalies are good indicators of buried hearths or roasting pits, which also produce very subtle features in GPR profiles but almost no reflection amplitude features in slice-maps. In areas where the landscape changed dramatically over a long period of time, GPR reflection profiles can identify packages of soil and sediment that contain artifacts and other larger anthropogenic features from ephemeral occupations. The history of this area is even more complicated because the environments changed dramatically over millennia, as the nearby fluvial system degraded and at other times filled up with sediments during floods. The integration of geologically-identified strata, which can be mapped with GPR using direct correlations of known units to those that contain artifacts, is one way to place people within a landscape that changed dramatically over a long span of time.
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