Vibracores and Vibracore Transects: Constraining the Geological and Cultural History of St. Catherines Island

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Publication Title

Proceedings of the Fourth Caldwell Conference, St. Catherines Island, Georgia, March 27-29, 2009


This edited volume addresses the geoarchaeology of St. Catherines Island (Georgia). The field of geoarchaeology has typically been defined as either geology pursued within an archaeological framework or (sometimes the reverse) as archaeology framed with the help of geological methodology. Either way, the formalized objectives of geoarchaeology define a broad range of pursuits, from placing archaeological sites into relative and absolute temporal context through the application of stratigraphic principles and absolute dating techniques, to understanding the natural processes of site formation, to reconstructing the landscapes that existed around a site or group of sites at the time of occupation. The editors of this volume have generally followed the lead of G.R. Rapp and C.L. Hill (2006, Geoarchaeology : the earth-science approach to archaeological interpretation) by stressing the importance of multiple viewpoints and methodologies in applying geoscience techniques to evaluate the archaeological record. In the broadest sense, then, Geoarchaeology of St. Catherines Island applies multiple earth science concepts, techniques, or knowledge bases to the known archaeological record and the processes that created that record. This volume consists of 16 papers presenting the newest research on the stratigraphic and geomorphological evolution of the St. Catherines Island landscape. Of particular interest are presentations addressing the relative timing and nature of sedimentation, paleobiology, sea level change, stream capture, hydrology, and erosional patterning evident on St. Catherines Island (and to some degree the rest of the Georgia Bight). These papers were initially presented at the Fourth Caldwell Conference, cosponsored by the American Museum of Natural History and the St. Catherines Island Foundation, held on St. Catherines Island (Georgia), March 27-29, 2009.