GEOARCHAEOLOGICAL INVESTIGATIONS OF DUNE FORMATION AND ARTIFACT DEPOSITION AT BARBER CREEK (31PT259).
McFadden, Paulette S.
The stratified prehistoric site at Barber Creek, located on a relict sand dune in eastern North Carolina, has the potential to offer important insights into the previously poorly understood chronologies and typologies of the coastal plain region of the state. This study investigated how and when the dune formed, and how this formation relates to occupation and artifact deposition. Several lines of evidence were used in this study, including artifact analysis, sedimentology and geomorphology, ground penetrating radar (GPR), and a suite of radiocarbon and optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dates. The evidence suggests that after 12,900 years ago, aeolian sediments accumulated on the elevated landform, after which time Archaic groups occupied the site. Sometime after 9,000 years ago, it appears that human occupation decreased and is associated with an increase in aeolian sedimentation. Sometime before 2,400 years ago, Middle and Late Archaic, and later Woodland groups reoccupied the now stabilized land form and remained until sometime after around 1,000 years ago.