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Geochronology of Sandia Cave

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dc.contributor.author Haynes, C. V. en
dc.contributor.author Agogino, George A. en
dc.date.accessioned 2007-05-25T17:41:12Z en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2013-03-14T18:58:40Z
dc.date.available 2007-05-25T17:41:12Z en_US
dc.date.available 2013-03-14T18:58:40Z
dc.date.issued 1986
dc.identifier.citation Haynes, C. V. and Agogino, George A. 1986. "<a href="http%3A%2F%2Fdx.doi.org%2F10.5479%2Fsi.00810223.32.1">Geochronology of Sandia Cave</a>." <em>Smithsonian Contributions to Anthropology</em>. 1&ndash;32. <a href="https://doi.org/10.5479/si.00810223.32.1">https://doi.org/10.5479/si.00810223.32.1</a> en
dc.identifier.issn 0081-0223
dc.identifier.uri http://dx.doi.org/10.5479/si.00810223.32.1
dc.description.abstract Excavations in Sandia Cave, New Mexico, in the late 1930s provided the first recognized stratigraphic evidence for a pre-Folsom culture in North America. This, the Sandia complex, is represented by diagnostic projectile points found in a loose deposit underlying a limonite ocher deposit which, in turn, underlies a cave breccia containing Folsom artifacts and reportedly sealed by an overlying dripstone. Our investigations in the 1960s revealed that the Sandia deposit (unit X) is in fact, a rodent deposit created by bioturbation of the limonite ocher (unit C) and contains material derived from most of the other deposits. A second dripstone (unit D) is recognized as being much older (preoccupation) than the post-Folsom dripstone, instead of being a contemporary facies as originally reported. Its absence from the deposits near the mouth of the cave is believed to be due to removal during the mining of the yellow ocher by Paleo-Indians.<br/>Paleoclimatic interpretations of the stratigraphic units include (1) a warm moist period for the derivation of the ocher by leaching from a pedalferic paleosol formed during a previous cool moist period, (2) desiccation of the ocher during a dry climate, (3) formation of the lower dripstone during a cool moist period, (4) gypsum precipitation (unit E) due to either a dry period or opening of the cave or both, and (5) accumulation of dust and debris (units F and H) under dry conditions alternating with dripstones (units G and I) and breccia cementation under wet conditions. From 14,000 B.P. on, the cave interior was accessible to man and animals. Accumulation of dust and debris (unit F) occurred during a dry period during which a portion of the lower dripstone was removed, presumably by Paleo-Indians in order to extract ocher. During the subsequent moist period the artifact-bearing debris became cemented by cave drip where not protected by the lower dripstone. Under recent climatic conditions another loose debris layer (unit J) has accumulated during the middle and late Holocene and has always been connected to the lower loose-debris deposit (unit X).<br/>We conclude that Sandia points are definitely less than 14,000 years old and suggest they may be specialized Clovis or Folsom artifacts used for mining ocher. However, we cannot preclude a pre-Clovis age or even post-Folsom. Undisturbed cave strata provide valuable paleoenvironmental data, but redeposition and bioturbation is the rule rather than the exception for most, if not all, cave deposits that were once unconsolidated debris. en
dc.format.extent 13403019 bytes en_US
dc.format.extent 2106446 bytes en_US
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en_US
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.relation.ispartof Smithsonian Contributions to Anthropology en
dc.title Geochronology of Sandia Cave en
dc.type Journal Article en
dc.identifier.srbnumber 113410
dc.identifier.eISSN 1943-6661 en_US
dc.identifier.doi 10.5479/si.00810223.32.1
rft.jtitle Smithsonian Contributions to Anthropology
rft.issue 32
rft.spage 1
rft.epage 32
dc.description.SIUnit SISP en
dc.citation.spage 1
dc.citation.epage 32
dc.relation.url http://dx.doi.org/10.5479/si.00810223.32.1

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