Geoarchaeological insights from Indian Sands, a Late Pleistocene site on the southern northwest coast, USA



Geoarchaeological investigations of site 35CU67C at the Indian Sands locality, along Oregon's southern coast, provide many insights useful for considering various aspects of a Late Pleistocene coastal migration hypothesis. The geographic and geomorphic setting of terminal Pleistocene human occupation at Indian Sands provides important contextual examples that may aid in the discovery of other early coastal sites. During the Terminal Pleistocene, hunter–gatherers exploited naturally occurring sources of chert toolstone available at the Indian Sands locality.

Stratigraphic records at Indian Sands show changes in aeolian sedimentation, pedogenesis, and landscape evolution. Taken together, these records reflect the presence of nonanalogous Terminal Pleistocene paleoenvironmental conditions, suggesting a coastline much colder and drier than today. Developing paleoenvironmental proxy records from Pleistocene-age terrestrial deposits in coastal settings will help improve our understanding of early coastal cultural ecology. © 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.