The Ebb and Flow of Life Before and After 3800 BP along the Georgia Coast

The Ebb and Flow of Life Before and After 3800 BP along the Georgia Coast

Issued: Mon, 25 Sep 2017 14:00:00 BST

SUERC Seminar Series

Monday 25 September

The Ebb and Flow of Life Before and After 3800 BP along the Georgia Coast

Victor Thompson, University of Georgia

This talk explores the nature of fisher-gatherer-hunter lifeways before and after 3800BP, a critical turning point in the archaeological record for the Georgia coast. During this time frame people began to abandon shell ring sites, which are large arcuate or circular piles of shell arranged around a central plaza area. These sites are perhaps some of the most intriguing features of the Late Archaic coastal world. Archaeologists have interpreted these in various ways from villages to monumental architecture. However, most of these explanations are derived from investigations of specific sites without placing them within the broader landscape. This talk evaluates the role that shell rings played in the larger world of Late Archaic peoples by using both site specific, as well as larger regional environmental and archaeological data from Sapelo Island and the Georgia Coast. New paleoenvironmental data indicate a critical hinge point where people needed to adapt to new conditions and changing sea levels and climate.