Paleoindians on the Postglacial Margin: Early Holocene Hunter-Gatherer Mobility in Northern Wisconsin

John Lambert, Thomas Loebel, Matthew Hill

Research output: Contribution to conferenceOther

Abstract

The area south Lake Superior was first colonized by Late Paleoindian groups during the Early Holocene after the final retreat of the Laurentide ice sheet from the region. As a result, Paleoindian sites in the area are ideal for testing ideas about the nature of hunter-gatherer adaptive responses to early postglacial environments. This project presents data from reanalysis of the lithic assemblages from a number of sites spread across northern Wisconsin and Michigan's Upper Peninsula. The first hunter-gatherer groups to occupy the region would have encountered a rapidly changing boreal forest environment with no clear modern analog. Long-distance transport of high quality raw materials and the composition of lithic toolkits both indicate that high residential mobility, investment in key organic technology (i.e., watercraft and tailored leather clothing), and seasonal use of emerging wetland environments were important strategies used to cope with the unique ecological challenges presented by this recently deglaciated landscape.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages568
StatePublished - 2015

Keywords

  • ISAS

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