Geoarchaeology is the collaboration of geology and archaeology to better understand archaeological sites and explain why or how processes are occurring. Geoarchaeology allows for scientific explanations into exploring what existed before, during and after human dwelling. One component of geoarchaeological testing is charcoal analysis. Learning about the fire history of an area is an important feature to investigating what life was like before the modern era. The goal for this study was to gain further data and knowledge on the human impacts to barrier island environments, with specific interest in South Florida. We hypothesized that humans moved into the barrier islands in Boca Raton because they became developed and stable enough for human habitation but in doing so, the sediment experienced an increase in carbon content, specifically charcoal concentrations. To test this hypothesis sediment samples were collected during an archaeological excavation of two sites at South Inlet Park. The samples were tested for microscopic charcoal concentrations. Preliminary results indicate that charcoal concentrations increased in layers where human habitation was identified by artifact collections. Nonetheless, over time, the environment returned to its natural state, before human interaction.
Lynn University Student Research Symposium
Boca Raton, FL
College of Arts and Sciences
Hughes, S., Faulk, C., Watson, A., & Lecher, A. L. (2019, March 26). How humans have affected the charcoal content of sediment in a barrier island environment in Boca Raton, Florida [Poster presentation]. College of Arts and Sciences Student Symposium, Lynn University, Boca Raton, FL, United States.