5,000 Years Ago

The erosion that occurred after 5,400 years ago dumped at least six feet of sediment onto the Marsh Creek plain. This would have been a period when the landscape was changing too much for long-term human occupation. The deposited sediment shows in the creek cutbanks as a thick band of brown, silty clay loam.

Six Feet of Sediment Buried Archaeological Deposits about 5,400 Years Ago.

It appears that no one lived on this spot for 300-400 years. Then the land stabilized again, forming a new surface suitable for people to live on. According to radiocarbon dates on Olivella shell beads and burned wood from the site, this happened sometime before 3700 BP (before present). By then people were once again living, processing food, and burying their dead along the banks of Marsh Creek.

Olivella Shell Beads

But where did the earlier inhabitants go when their village was buried? Was the site really abandoned for hundreds of years? Who were the people who arrived after that, and where did they come from? These are questions that only archaeology can answer. Research at the site, while still incomplete, has provided some clues that are changing our understanding of these ancient people and how they lived.

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