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Geology of the dry creek site; a stratified early man site in Interior Alaska

January 1, 1977

The Dry Creek archeologic site contains a stratified record of late Pleistocene human occupation in central Alaska. Four archeologic components occur within a sequence of multiple loess and sand layers which together form a 2-m cap above weathered glacial outwash. The two oldest components appear to be of late Pleistocene age and occur with the bones of extinct game animals. Geologic mapping, stratigraphic correlations, radiocarbon dating, and sediment analyses indicate that the basal loess units formed part of a widespread blanket that was associated with an arctic steppe environment and with stream aggradation during waning phases of the last major glaciation of the Alaska Range. These basal loess beds contain artifacts for which radiocarbon dates and typologic correlations suggest a time range of perhaps 12,000-9000 yr ago. A long subsequent episode of cultural sterility was associated with waning loess deposition and development of a cryoturbated tundra soil above shallow permafrost. Sand deposition from local source areas predominated during the middle and late Holocene, and buried Subarctic Brown Soils indicate that a forest fringe developed on bluff-edge sand sheets along Dry Creek. The youngest archeologic component, which is associated with the deepest forest soil, indicates intermittent human occupation of the site between about 4700 and 3400 14C yr BP. ?? 1977.

Publication Year 1977
Title Geology of the dry creek site; a stratified early man site in Interior Alaska
Authors R.M. Thorson, T. D. Hamilton
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Quaternary Research
Index ID 70009937
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse