Human-caused stratigraphic mixing of a coastal Hawaiian midden during prehistory: Implications for interpreting cultural deposits

Khaweerat, Sasiphan, Weisler, Marshall, Zhao, Jian-xin, Feng, Yue-xing and Yu, Kefu (2010) Human-caused stratigraphic mixing of a coastal Hawaiian midden during prehistory: Implications for interpreting cultural deposits. Geoarchaeology-an International Journal, 25 5: 527-540. doi:10.1002/gea.20323

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Author Khaweerat, Sasiphan
Weisler, Marshall
Zhao, Jian-xin
Feng, Yue-xing
Yu, Kefu
Title Human-caused stratigraphic mixing of a coastal Hawaiian midden during prehistory: Implications for interpreting cultural deposits
Journal name Geoarchaeology-an International Journal   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0883-6353
Publication date 2010-09-01
Year available 2010
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1002/gea.20323
Volume 25
Issue 5
Start page 527
End page 540
Total pages 14
Place of publication New York, NY, U.S.A.
Publisher Wiley
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Archaeologists rely on the spatial and temporal distribution of artifacts and other site-based materials to understand the stratigraphic integrity of the matrix in which remains are embedded. Although they are aware of taphonomic and site formation processes that can cause post-depositional movement of objects, misinterpretation can occur. We used high-precision 230Th dating of branch corals found throughout cultural layers of a coastal Hawaiian midden to identify the effects of post-depositional disturbances to the archaeological record. Fifteen corals distributed in three cultural layers of a Mo'omomi bay site on west Moloka'i, Hawaiian Islands, were 230Th dated between A.D. 1513 and A.D. 1623. Even though the cultural layers appeared visually intact, the positions of the dated coral samples indicate stratigraphic mixing as there is no positive age–depth correlation. Consequently, all cultural layers should be considered one analytical unit for analysis of contents. This study is applicable to other Pacific archaeological sites, especially throughout Hawaii and East Polynesia generally, that have well-preserved branch coral for 230Th dating. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Keyword Kalaupapa field system
Molokai Island
Fossil corals
Sea-level
Site
Chronology
Pacific
Kauai
Agriculture
Sequence
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/gea.20323

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2011 Collection
School of Social Science Publications
 
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 6 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Sun, 26 Sep 2010, 10:06:38 EST