Date of Award

8-2015

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Major

Anthropology

Major Professor

David G. Anderson

Committee Members

Boyce Driskell, Kandace Hollenbach

Abstract

The Big Pine Tree site (38AL143) is located in the Central Savannah River Valley in the coastal plain of South Carolina. A chert quarry site, it has been used since the Late Paleoindian period (12,850-11,200 cal yr BP) and is in fact still utilized to this day by employees of the nearby Archroma facility. The site has been extensively excavated under the direction of Albert C. Goodyear III for many years, resulting in a large assemblage. This research addresses an unusual 30-centimeter thick dark-brown soil stain located between 60-90 centimeters below ground surface that dates to the beginning of the Late Archaic. This band of soil has been referred to as a midden by people who have excavated at the site; this research tests the hypothesis that the midden levels had a higher or more intensive degree of occupation compared to other time periods at the site through mathematical models based in behavioral ecology. Although this research is constrained by the available sample size, the midden levels do appear to represent the most intense use of the site.

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