Identifier

etd-01222013-135505

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Geography and Anthropology

Document Type

Dissertation

Abstract

Archaeological sites are more important than simply the artifacts they contain. Locations of human occupation and activity form a pattern that can provide information about perceptions of the landscape, decisions about resources, or preferences. Explaining this “perceived” environment is one of archaeology’s goals in explaining past human behavior. In order to address these goals, archaeologists must first identify elements of the “real” landscape, including the geographical environment, its resources, and evidence of human modification. Only after these real elements have been identified can the perceived environment be explored. On the outer continental shelf of the northwestern Gulf of Mexico, formerly subaerial geographical environments are now submerged offshore of Texas and Louisiana. These areas could have been occupied by Paleoindian or Early Archaic populations prior to final inundation related to sea-level rise following the last glacial maximum. Due to sediment accretion related to transgression, as well as active sedimentation in the marine environment, the formerly subaerial surface is now buried below the seafloor. This dissertation discusses the use of geophysical data in identifying environments, resources, and evidence of environmental modification at areas that are currently buried below the seafloor on the outer continental shelf. The use of methods and data grounded in physical geography can ultimately add to patterns of past human behavior.

Date

2012

Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Secure the entire work for patent and/or proprietary purposes for a period of one year. Student has submitted appropriate documentation which states: During this period the copyright owner also agrees not to exercise her/his ownership rights, including public use in works, without prior authorization from LSU. At the end of the one year period, either we or LSU may request an automatic extension for one additional year. At the end of the one year secure period (or its extension, if such is requested), the work will be released for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Hesp, Patrick

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