Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers Uncover Pictured Rocks History

08.12.2009
Researchers from the Northern Michigan University geography department recently completed a three-year project at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore that uncovered 23 new archaeological sites and reconstructed the Nipissing shoreline as it looked about 4,500 years ago.

John Anderton, head of the department, said the National Park Service supported the effort to locate cultural resources so they remain protected in future plans for road improvements and other developments.

In the first year of the project, satellite imagery was used to identify distinct land forms—notches, ridges and barriers—created by wave action to map the older shorelines. They found that the water was 30-40 feet higher than it is today.

“Today, Pictured Rocks is seen as a barrier with the cliffs and long stretches of beach," Anderton said. "It’s not very habitable. But if you go back a while, there were nice places for people to live. There were embayments, or shallow water lagoons that had a variety of fish and plants; everything a hunter-gatherer would need.”

In the second year of the project, his colleague Robert Legg completed Geographic Information Systems (GIS) modeling of archaeological sites. Legg documented the GPS locations of established sites Anderton previously knew about and did comparisons across a broader study area to find new locations with similar settings.

The resulting model was put to the test in the final phase of the project: a cultural resource survey. This involved shovel testing for artifacts, mainly rock material such as quartzite flakes or shatter left behind from making tools. Detailed digital elevation models created by NMU professor Robert Regis allowed Anderton and students to key in on the best places to drop a shovel. They focused on key spots around the Miner’s, Mosquito and Chapel areas, as well as Beaver Lake.

“In the past, you might do a hundred tests and find nothing. But one out of four of ours unearthed artifacts,” Anderton said. “That’s called smart archaeology. The big surprise is there were six brand new sites in Miner’s and another six at Mosquito. Radiocarbon dating put them at over 2,000 years old. They were most likely small, short-term campsites where individual families stayed; it wasn’t the full-blown villages that have been found on Grand Island. The implication is that springtime fishing drew people in.

“The park benefits from this study because they know where artifacts are and they can avoid, for example, putting a group campsite on an archaeological location. They can’t do that legally, but they didn’t know what to preserve because it had been hard to find evidence of ancient people’s activities at Pictured Rocks; it’s so heavily wooded. Interpreters will also be able to describe Native American use of the park. Before, they thought it ended about 2,000 years ago. Now we know it was used during the Archaic period. It would take more extensive reconstruction factoring in glaciers to explore whether human activities at the park date back to the Paleo-Indian era.”

A grant from the National Park Service, administered through the Great Lakes Northern Forest Cooperative Ecosystem Study Unit, funded the research.

Kristi Evans | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.nmu.edu

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Radioactivity from oil and gas wastewater persists in Pennsylvania stream sediments
22.01.2018 | Duke University

nachricht World’s oldest known oxygen oasis discovered
18.01.2018 | Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Thanks for the memory: NIST takes a deep look at memristors

22.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

Radioactivity from oil and gas wastewater persists in Pennsylvania stream sediments

22.01.2018 | Earth Sciences

Saarland University bioinformaticians compute gene sequences inherited from each parent

22.01.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks Wissenschaft & Forschung
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>