The photo below is from site N'tolonapemk (Meddybemps, Maine #96.02 ME). These are some of the projectile points recovered during the 2000 field season.
The photo below is an overview of the site. A complex sequence of geologic events is displayed here, beginning with deglaciation, a marine transgression, submersion ~210 feet below
sea level, a marine regression with accompanying nearshore/surf zone modification, isostatic adjustment of the Meddybemps Lake watershed, and, finally, a slow
Holocene landscape evolution. Superimposed onto the surficial geology are both natural and anthropogenic soil forming processes.
The report citation is:
The Archaeology of N'Tolonapemk (96.02 ME) "Our Ancestor's Place": Phase III Data Recovery at the Eastern Surplus Company Superfund Site, Meddybemps, Wahsington County, Maine. Vol. II. Brigham, M.S., Cowie, E.R., Bartone, R.N., Scharoun, S.R., Cyr, R.A., and Reed, J.A. (2005; revised 2006).
A report prepared for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency through Tetra Tech NUS, Inc. by the Archaeology Research Center, Department of Social Sciences and Business, University of Maine at Farmington, Farmington, Maine 04938
Archaeological sites associated with riverine environments often contain stratified components, spanning Contact, Ceramic, and Middle to Early Archaic Periods. The photo below
exemplifies such stratigraphic settings.
The PaleoIndian Period is present in Maine. These sites were occupied during terminal Pleistocene time, in a vastly different climate system than our familiar Holocene climate.
The major rivers in Maine had not yet established their present configurations, and isostatic adjustment of the land was in rapid progress. Maine was covered by remnant ice caps
in northern Aroostook County. The landscape was dominated by steppe (prairie grass) vegetation. The climate was markedly arid. This time period would end in a span of fewer than
100 years, with massive faunal extinctions across North America and Eurasia. Below are two photos (courtesy of Dr. Karl Kreutz) from Kangerlussuaq, Greenland.
This is the western terminus of the ice cap. Based on pollen and vegetation data from records in Maine, this is most likely the landscape that existed during
PaleoIndian time. Note the grasses, ericaceous shrubs, and willows growing up against the ice sheet margin. Several species of blueberries and cranberries are
present, as well as a delightful cooling breeze that chases away the biting insects.
A large PaleoIndian site(s) is(are) present near Jefferson, New Hampshire. Under the direction of Dr. Richard Boisverte, New Hampshire State Archaeologist, portions
of the complex have been investigated. The sites are not associated with a river or stream system, but rather the paleoshoreline of Glacial Lake Israel, a small
remnant of which exists today as Cherry Pond.