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Earth, Environmental and Geographical Sciences


Full-time occupation of recently deglaciated landscapes in the northwestern Great Lakes by late Paleoindian groups marks a key milestone in the colonization of the region, yet settlement-subsistence systems of these colonizing populations remains poorly understood. Here we apply geoarchaeological modeling and early Holocene environmental reconstruction to analyze environmental settings of known late Paleoindian sites in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Our results reveal significant settlement patterning associated with this early Holocene record, highlighting the spatial correlation between site locations and high ground adjacent to hilly terrain and inland lakes – prime locations for monitoring the movement of large game. The analysis highlights a core area with a high likelihood for undiscovered late Paleoindian sites in the northwest corner of Marquette County and suggests the possibility of a north-south travel corridor into the region from upper Wisconsin along the Michigamme River.

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