Geoarchaeological investigations in the upper North Fork River valley in Southern Missouri


The first geoarchaeological investigations in the upper North Fork River valley in 1993 and 1994 revealed the presence of multiple terraces and associated sediment assemblages that contain archaeological deposits. Most of the field work, however, focused on the two lowest and youngest sediment assemblages. These include an aggrading flood plain (F-l) and a low terrace (T-l). The flood plain sediment assemblage is late Holocene in age, probably less than 2,000 years old. Although not common, Late Woodland and Mississippian artifacts are deeply buried in this unit. The T-l appears to be late Pleistocene in age. Artifacts dating from Late Paleoindian to Mississippian times are very common on T-l landforms, but they appear to be restricted to the upper 1 m of the sediment assemblage. Alluvial deposits similar to the F-l sediment assemblage appear to be widespread in the Ozarks, whereas chronological and sedimentological discrepancies exist between the T-l sediment assemblage in the North Fork River valley and those located elsewhere in the Ozarks, especially north of the Ozarks Divide.


Center for Archaeological Research

Document Type

Conference Proceeding




Alluvial formations, Geoarchaeology, Missouri, North Fork River, Ozarks

Publication Date


Journal Title

Plains Anthropologist