Site Formation Processes in an Upland Paleoindian Site: The 2005 – 2007 Topper Firebreak Excavations
Date of Award
Master of Arts
David G. Anderson
Boyce N. Driskell, Sarah C. Sherwood
In the Southeastern United States, archaeological sites dating to the Paleoindian period are elusive. This study examined whether the Topper Site (38AL23) in Allendale County, South Carolina has buried, relatively undisturbed Paleoindian deposit using a sample excavation block removed during the 2005-2007 field seasons. Artifact horizons were defined by plotting the density of each bulk provenience against a vertical profile. The vertical displacement of refitted artifacts and the position of diagnostic artifacts were used to test the integrity of these horizons. The results indicate a discrete deposit associated with diagnostic Clovis artifacts. Subsequent analyses tested for horizontal post-depositional movement, and the results suggest isolated bioturbation events and winnowing had occurred. As an additional test of the horizontal integrity of the deposits, a spatial analysis found non-random patterning among the artifact classes. This study concluded that some areas were significantly disturbed, while other areas contained vertically discrete Clovis deposits with the spatial array of artifacts potentially intact.
Miller, Darcy Shane, "Site Formation Processes in an Upland Paleoindian Site: The 2005 – 2007 Topper Firebreak Excavations. " Master's Thesis, University of Tennessee, 2007.