Smith dives to retrieve materials for further research.
For every day spent collecting bones and artifacts in the water, it takes about two weeks to analyze the material brought up, he says.
“We have recovered several mammoth bones from a young Columbian Mammoth, likely a juvenile,” says Smith.
“We also recovered five flakes, which are the by-products of stone tool making. The site was originally excavated in 1973. The original excavator found six flakes, a projectile point, and two butchered mammoth bones. Material from both excavations makes up the site assemblage.”
The work is important, he believes, because there are few reliable radiocarbon dates that exist from Ice Age archaeological sites in the Southeastern United States. As a result, the lack of data has made understanding the settlement of the region difficult.
Texas A&M Conserves Prehistoric Canoe To Keep Ancient Culture Afloat
“Also,” Smith says, “few Ice Age megafauna (mammoth, mastodon, horse, etc.) kill sites exist in the Eastern U.S. The Guest Mammoth site may be a rare exception to this trend. More broadly, understanding how people adapted to the Southeastern U.S. during the Ice Age, a period ending in dramatic climate change, has direct relevance to humans living in our current period of climate change. Understanding how sea levels rose and populations adapted to changing coastlines, freshwater sources and food can help inform us what we may face in the ensuing decades.”
Smith says he and his research team have finished the field work at the Florida site and they will be analyzing the data in the lab of Dr. Michael Waters, who directs Texas A&M’s Center for the Study of the First Americans. Smith will be returning to the site next year to conduct more research.
The project was funded by the Felburn Foundation, the Texas A&M Department of Anthropology and its Center for the Study of First Americans.
Contact: Morgan Smith at (850) 509-5677 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Keith Randall, News & Information Services, at (979) 845-4644 or email@example.com