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Title: Geochronology and Geomorphology of the Pioneer Archaeological Site (10BT676), Upper Snake River Plain, Idaho

The Pioneer site in southeastern Idaho, an open-air, stratified, multi-component archaeological locality on the upper Snake River Plain, provides an ideal situation for understanding the geomorphic history of the Big Lost River drainage system. We conducted a block excavation with the goal of understanding the geochronological context of both cultural and geomorphological components at the site. The results of this study show a sequence of five soil formation episodes forming three terraces beginning prior to 7200 cal yr BP and lasting until the historic period, preserving one cultural component dated to ~3800 cal yr BP and multiple components dating to the last 800 cal yr BP. In addition, periods of deposition and stability at Pioneer indicate climate fluctuation during the middle Holocene (~7200-3800 cal yr BP), minimal deposition during the late Holocene, and a period of increased deposition potentially linked to the Little Ice Age. In addition, evidence for a high-energy erosion event dated to ~3800 cal yr BP suggest a catastrophic flood event during the middle Holocene that may correlate with volcanic activity at the Craters of the Moon lava fields to the northwest. This study provides a model for the study of alluvial terrace formations in arid environmentsmore » and their potential to preserve stratified archaeological deposits.« less
Authors:
 [1]
  1. Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1183497
Report Number(s):
INL/EXT--15-34502
DOE Contract Number:
AC07-05ID14517
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Idaho National Laboratory (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
58 GEOSCIENCES; 54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES/GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE STUDIES AND CLIMATE MITIGATION; 99 GENERAL AND MISCELLANEOUS Anthropology; Archaeology; Geochronology; Geomorphology