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Archaeological Potential of the Atlantic Continental Shelf*

  • K.O. Emery (a1) and R.L. Edwards (a1)


Early man lived in eastern United States 11,000 years ago when most of the now-submerged continental shelf was exposed. The shelf almost certainly was ranged by nomadic hunters and possibly by marine fish- and mollusk- eaters. As the sea level rose at the end of the latest glacial epoch, the advancing water disrupted and submerged any habitation sites.

The oldest radiocarbon dates for kitchen middens of marine refuse along the present shore appear to be younger than the oldest dates for kitchen middens of non-marine content. Older marine middens may be deeply submerged far out on the continental shelf. Greatest success in future exploration for these sites is likely in areas of the shelf which have received little or no cover of postglacial sediment and where rivers formerly crossed the shelf.



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Archaeological Potential of the Atlantic Continental Shelf*

  • K.O. Emery (a1) and R.L. Edwards (a1)


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