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The Chronological Position of the Dalton Horizon in the Southeastern United States

  • Albert C. Goodyear (a1)


The chronological placement of the Dalton horizon in the southeastern United States has traditionally been between 10,000 and 8,000 B.P. (8000–6000 B.C.). A review of previous dating approaches questions the basis for that assignment and casts serious doubts about the validity of alleged associations between Dalton remains and C-14 dates in caves and shelters. The significance of two Dalton-associated C-14 dates from the alluvial terrace of the Rodgers Shelter site is discussed in regard to their age and contexts. Excavations of Dalton open sites during the 1970s revealed pure Dalton assemblages with no side-notched and corner-notched points present. Radiocarbon dates spanning the period from 9,500 to 9,000 B.P. for side-notched and corner-notched points indicate that the Dalton point had ceased to be made by that time. It is argued that the interval from 10,500 to 9,900 B.P. (8500–7900 B.C.) is the correct temporal position of the Dalton horizon. The importance of correctly estimating the age and duration of the Dalton adaptation is emphasized, particularly for relating technological and settlement strategies to the paleoenvironmental changes of the early Holocene.



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