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Prehistoric Human Use of Fire, the Eastern Agricultural Complex, and Appalachian Oak-Chestnut Forests: Paleoecology of Cliff Palace Pond, Kentucky
Paul A. Delcourt, Hazel R. Delcourt, Cecil R. Ison, William E. Sharp and Kristen J. Gremillion
Vol. 63, No. 2 (Apr., 1998), pp. 263-278
Published by: Society for American Archaeology
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2694697
Page Count: 16
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Fossil pollen assemblages from Cliff Palace Pond, Kentucky, characterize changes in forest composition through the past 9,500 years of the Holocene. Early-Holocene spruce and northern white cedar stands were replaced by mixed mesophytic forests after 7300 B.P. Hemlock declined around 4800 B.P., and eastern red cedar became locally important. After 3000 B.P, mixed oak-chestnut and pine forests were dominant. The fossil charcoal record from Cliff Palace Pond demonstrates that Late Archaic and Woodland peoples cleared forest gaps to cultivate native plants in the Eastern Agricultural Complex and that anthropogenic fires served to increase populations of fire-tolerant oaks, chestnut, and pines in upland forests of the northern Cumberland Plateau.
American Antiquity © 1998 Society for American Archaeology