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A Direct-Dated Ceramic AMS Sequence from the Gaspereau Lake Reservoir Site Complex, Maine–Maritimes Region, Northeastern North America

  • Cora A Woolsey (a1)

Abstract

The Gaspereau Lake Reservoir Site Complex in Nova Scotia, Canada, yielded a large ceramic assemblage that permitted the first fine-grained analysis of ceramic change in the region at the Middle–Late Woodland Transition from ca. 1550 BP to ca. 1150 BP. The aim of this study was to refine the standard regional chronology first proposed by researchers J B Petersen and D Sanger. To do this, ceramics were directly dated using accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS), and the assemblage was categorized and analyzed to identify clusters of attributes. Ten AMS dates were acquired on carbonized food residue on the interiors of pottery and yielded the largest continuous ceramic sequence in the Maritime Provinces of Canada. This sequence was used to infer a change in manufacturing practices between the Middle (2150–1300 BP) and Late (1300–500 BP) Woodland periods and to propose five new subperiods between 1650 BP and 950 BP. Increasing incidence of coil breaks and temper percentage from the Middle to the Late Woodland were found to be chronologically sensitive. The analysis showed that, at Gaspereau Lake, a gradual shift from finely decorated and manufactured pottery to expediently made pottery suggests that pottery was made in larger numbers to support large-scale gatherings.

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Corresponding author

Corresponding author. Email: Cora.Woolsey@unb.ca

References

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A Direct-Dated Ceramic AMS Sequence from the Gaspereau Lake Reservoir Site Complex, Maine–Maritimes Region, Northeastern North America

  • Cora A Woolsey (a1)

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