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Early Archaic Settlement in the Southeastern United States: A Case Study from the Savannah River Valley

  • David G. Anderson (a1) and Glen T. Hanson (a2)

Abstract

Surveys and excavations conducted within the Savannah River watershed in recent years have yielded a wealth of information about organization and adaptive strategies of Early Archaic populations, both within the drainage and across the region. Specifically, excavations at Rucker's Bottom (9EB91) and the G. S. Lewis site (38AK228) have yielded large, complementary assemblages indicating watershed-extensive adaptation employing a mixed collector-forager strategy. Comparative analyses with assemblages from the surrounding region document an extensive use of expedient technologies, instead of the more formalized technologies thought to characterize the period. Analyses of local and regional resource structure, theoretical arguments about biocultural needs of hunter-gatherer populations, and evidence from the archaeological record, suggest that large drainage systems served subsistence/resource needs, while biocultural interaction (i.e., information and mating networks) operated both along and across watershed boundaries. A model of Early Archaic settlement is proposed, based on band/macroband mobility and interaction, that is thought to partially account for the variation from this period found on the South Atlantic Slope.

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Early Archaic Settlement in the Southeastern United States: A Case Study from the Savannah River Valley

  • David G. Anderson (a1) and Glen T. Hanson (a2)

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