Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Problems Relating to the Neothermal Climatic Sequence

  • Alan Lyle Bryan (a1) and Ruth Gruhn (a1)

Abstract

The sequence of three phases (Anathermal, Altithermal, Medithermal) of the Postglacial or Neothermal temperature curve, although demonstrably a reality, has been used improperly to determine absolute dates and past climatic conditions from archaeological deposits. A review of the historic development of the concept of the three sequent Neothermal temperature phases reveals the assumptions on which absolute dating of these phases has been based. Analysis of the variable radio-carbon dates now available for deposits attributed to these phases in a number of different localities in North America indicates that these phases cannot be considered as universal time periods bracketed by definite absolute dates; and consideration of the ecological diversity within North America at any particular time, especially in the West, indicates that climatic conditions inferred for a given span of Neothermal time in one area cannot be projected into another area without direct independent evidence of the actual climatic conditions which existed in the second area at that time. It is suggested that Anathermal, Altithermal, and Medithermal be used not as time periods with fixed absolute dates or climatic periods with defined characteristics, but rather be considered as phases of the Neothermal temperature curve which in different ecological areas resulted in locally varying climatic conditions which must be determined by direct evidence, dated by independent means, and designated by local terms.

Copyright

References

Hide All
Antevs, Ernst 1928 The Last Glaciation. American Geographical Society, Research Series, No. 17. New York.
Antevs, Ernst 1948 The Great Basin, with Emphasis on Glacial and Postglacial Times, Climatic Changes, and Pre-White Man. University of Utah Bulletin, Vol. 38, No. 20, pp. 168-91. Salt Lake City.
Antevs, Ernst 1953 Geochronology of the Deglacial and Neothermal Ages. Journal of Geology, Vol. 61, pp. 195 230. Chicago.
Antevs, Ernst 1955a Geologic-climatic Dating in the West. American Antiquity, Vol. 20, No. 4, pp. 317-35. Salt Lake City.
Antevs, Ernst 1955b Varve and Radiocarbon Chronologies Appraised by Pollen Dates. Journal of Geology, Vol. 63, pp. 495-9. Chicago.
Antevs, Ernst 1957 Geological Tests of the Varve and Radiocarbon Chronologies. Journal of Geology, Vol. 65, pp. 129-48. Chicago.
Antevs, Ernst 1962 Transatlantic Climatic Agreement Versus C14 Dates. Journal of Geology, Vol. 70, pp. 194205. Chicago.
Aschmann, Homer 1958 Great Basin Climates in Relation to Human Occupance. University of California Archaeological Survey Report, No. 42, pp. 2340. Berkeley.
Broecker, Wallace S., Ewing, Maurice, and Heezen, Bruce C. 1960 Evidence for an Abrupt Change in Climate Close to 11,000 Years Ago. American Journal of Science, Vol. 258, pp. 429-48. New Haven.
Broecker, Wallace S. and Orr, Phil C. 1958 Radiocarbon Chronology of Lake Lahontan and Lake Bonneville. Geological Society of America Bulletin, Vol. 69, pp. 1009-32. New York.
Cooper, William S. 1958 Terminology of Post-Valders Time. Geological Society of America Bulletin, Vol. 69, pp. 941-5. New York.
Deevey, Edward S. and Flint, Richard Foster 1957 Postglacial Hypsithermal Interval. Science, Vol. 125, pp. 182-4. Washington.
Fairbridge, Rhodes W. 1961 Convergence of Evidence on Climatic Change and Ice Ages. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, Vol. 95, Art. 1, pp. 542-79. New York.
Flint, R. F. 1956 New Radiocarbon Dates and Late-Pleistocene Stratigraphy. American Journal of Science, Vol. 254, pp. 265-87. New Haven.
Flint, R. F. and Gale, W. A. 1958 Stratigraphy and Radiocarbon Dates at Searles Lake, California. American Journal of Science, Vol. 256, pp. 689714. New Haven.
Frye, John C. and Willman, H. B. 1960 Classification of the Wisconsinan Stage of the Lake Michigan Glacial Lobe. Illinois State Geological Survey, Circular No. 285. Urbana.
Gruhn, Ruth 1961 The Archaeology of Wilson Butte Cave, Southcentral Idaho. Occasional Papers of the Idaho State College Museum, No. 6. Pocatello.
Heusser, Calvin J. 1960 Late Pleistocene Environments of North Pacific North America. American Geographical Society, Special Publication No. 35. New York.
Hopkins, D. M., F. S., Macneil, and Leopold, E. B. 1960 The Coastal Plain at Nome: A Late Cenozoic Type Section for the Bering Strait Region. Report of the XXI Jnternational Geological Congress, Section 4, pp. 46-57.
Jelgersma, Saskia 1962 A Late-Glacial Pollen Diagram from Madelia, South-central Minnesota. American Journal of Science, Vol. 260, pp. 522-29. New Haven.
Jennings, Jesse D. 1957 Danger Cave. Memoirs of the Society for American Archaeology, No. 14. Salt Lake City.
Leighton, M. M. 1957 The Cary-Mankato-Valders Problem. Journal of Geology, Vol. 65, pp. 108-11. Chicago.
Leighton, M. M. 1958 Principles and Viewpoints in Formulating the Stratigraphic Classifications of the Pleistocene. Journal of Geology, Vol. 66, pp. 700-9. Chicago.
Leighton, M. M. 1960 The Classification of the Wisconsin Glacial Stage of North Central United States. Journal of Geology, Vol. 68, pp. 529-52. Chicago.
Martin, Paul S., Schoenwetter, James, and Arms, Bernard C. 1961 Southwestern Palynology and Prehistory: The Last 10,000 Years. Geochronology Laboratories, University of Arizona, Contribution No. 50. Tucson.
Miller, John P. 1957 Problems of the Pleistocene in Cordilleran North America, as Related to Reconstruction of Environmental Changes that Affected Early Man. In “Climate and Man in the Southwest,” University of Arizona Bulletin, Vol. 28, No. 4. Tucson.
Movius, Hallam L. Jr. 1960 Radiocarbon Dates and Upper Palaeolithic Archaeology in Central and Western Europe. Current Anthropology, Vol. 1, Nos. 5-6, pp. 355-92. Chicago.
Zeuner, F. E. 1958 Dating the Past. Fourth Edition. Methuen and Co., Ltd. London.
Zumberge, James H. and Potzger, J. E. 1955 Pollen Profiles, Radiocarbon Dating, and Geologic Chronology of the Lake Michigan Basin. Science, Vol. 121, pp. 309-11. Washington.

Problems Relating to the Neothermal Climatic Sequence

  • Alan Lyle Bryan (a1) and Ruth Gruhn (a1)

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.