As analysis of the Turner Farm data has progressed, I have been surprised at the geographic extent over which we must range to understand what was happening at the site and, conversely, in the region for which the site provides new insights: from Labrador to Florida and from Nova Scotia to the Great Lakes. Analyses on scales as broad as this are possible mainly because of the unusually high quality of the data set. Most shell middens on the Gulf of Maine coast, as elsewhere, have excellent bone preservation—a critical aid to understanding, among other things, subsistence, technology, and mortuary behavior—and the primary reason why much of my research during the past quarter century has been devoted to these remarkable sites. Moreover, aside from the unique length of the Turner Farm sequence, most episodes of occupation there were multiseason, even year-round, reflecting a substantial proportion of each occupation’s annual range of activities.


Great Lake Projectile Point Shell Midden Archaic Period Lithic Technology 
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© Plenum Press, New York 1995

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