The Page-Ladson site, currently buried and submerged in a sinkhole in northwestern Florida, demonstrates evidence of human occupation in North America by 14,550 calendar years ago (cal yr BP). This paper combines new diatom evidence with existing palynological data to strengthen paleoenvironmental interpretations at the site. The Page-Ladson sinkhole was not entirely submerged between ∼15,100 and 14,400 cal yr BP. Conditions at the site became warmer and wetter, and the sinkhole became a turbid pond from ∼14,400 to 12,900 cal yr BP. From ∼12,900 cal yr BP until ∼11,000 cal yr BP, a disappearance of diatoms in the coring location suggests the sinkhole margin was dry. Water levels rose between 11,000 and 9000 cal yr BP, submerging the coring location on the pond margin. These environmental data help contextualize the archaeological data in the region.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was funded by the Elfrieda Frank Foundation; the North Star Archaeological Research Program and the Chair in First Americans Studies at Texas A&M University; The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse; National Geographic Waitt Foundation grant W224-12; Geological Society of America (GSA) graduate research grant 10445-14; the Society for American Archaeology Geoarchaeology Interest Group MA/MS Research Award; the Texas A&M Department of Anthropology; and the Claude C. Albritton Jr Award of the Archaeological Geology division of the GSA. Thank you to J. and B. Ladson and the Ladson family for site access and assistance with the project; E. Green, T. and B. Pertierra, J. Simpson, and S. Ellison for fieldwork, equipment, and logistics support; LacCore for core storage, analysis, and assistance; Capital Rubber, University of Wisconsin?La Crosse, Wakulla Dive Center, the Center for Maritime Archaeology and Conservation at Texas A&M University, and Florida Bureau of Archaeological Research Underwater Archaeology Division for field equipment and technical support; and to J. Albertson, S. Joy, M. Smith, D. Thulman, G. Farr, N. Puckett, and B. Fenerty for assistance in collecting the cores. Thank you also to the three anonymous reviewers whose comments were helpful in improving the manuscript.
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- Late Quaternary environments
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