Publication Abstracts

Moss et al. 2007

Moss, M.L., D.M. Peteet, and C. Whitlock, 2007: Mid-Holocene culture and climate on the Northwest coast of North America. In Climate Change and Cultural Dynamics: A Global Perspective on Mid-Holocene Transitions. D.G. Anderson, K. Maasch, and D.H. Sandweiss, Eds. Academic Press, pp. 491-530.

On the Northwest Coast of North America, the middle Holocene was time of changing climate and culture. In this chapter, we review the paleoclimatic and archaeological records of this region with the intent of approaching possible causal relationships between them. Early Holocene archaeological sites are relatively few, containing artifact assemblages predominantly of chipped stone, and only rarely, faunal remains. The mid-Holocene climate of the Northwest Coast was cooler and wetter than the early Holocene, but warmer and somewhat drier than today. Archaeologists have observed that compared to the early Holocene, during the mid-Holocene the number of archaeological sites increased, their average size was larger, and shell middens became common, preserving bone and antler technologies as well as abundant faunal remains. Archaeologists have traditionally viewed 5800 cal yr BP (5000 14C yr BP) as a major turning point in the prehistory of the Northwest Coast. Many archaeologists have perceived the supposed dramatic cultural changes as related to environmental changes including stabilization of sea levels, shellfish beds, and salmon runs. This review demonstrates that archaeological sites with mid-Holocene components are not common, nor are they well know. Nevertheless, a time of cultural transition does appear to be indicated as about 4850 cal yr BP (4300 14C yr BP). Mid-Holocene climate change undoubtedly affected Northwest Coast societies, and we suggest a few ways in which changing climate may have affected some of the key resources upon which people relied. Limitations of both the paleoclimatic and archaeological records, however, preclude all but a prelimincary treatment of these issues.

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BibTeX Citation

@inbook{mo07000g,
  author={Moss, M. L. and Peteet, D. M. and Whitlock, C.},
  editor={Anderson, D. G. and Maasch, K. and Sandweiss, D. H.},
  title={Mid-Holocene culture and climate on the Northwest coast of North America},
  booktitle={Climate Change and Cultural Dynamics: A Global Perspective on Mid-Holocene Transitions},
  year={2007},
  pages={491--530},
  publisher={Academic Press},
  address={London, U.K.},
}

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RIS Citation

TY  - CHAP
ID  - mo07000g
AU  - Moss, M. L.
AU  - Peteet, D. M.
AU  - Whitlock, C.
ED  - Anderson, D. G.
ED  - Maasch, K.
ED  - Sandweiss, D. H.
PY  - 2007
TI  - Mid-Holocene culture and climate on the Northwest coast of North America
BT  - Climate Change and Cultural Dynamics: A Global Perspective on Mid-Holocene Transitions
SP  - 491
EP  - 530
PB  - Academic Press
CY  - London, U.K.
ER  -

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