Underwater Geoarchaeology at Spring Lake, San Marcos, Texas
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The San Marcos Springs, now under the stewardship of Texas State University, present an exceptionally complete record of prehistoric human habitation spanning the Late Pleistocene and Holocene eras. Detailed geoarchaeological research established a preliminary depositional sequence of alluvial deposits spanning this same period (Nickels and Bousman 2010). However, the earliest artifacts recovered in controlled excavations date to only ~8380 cal BP (Oksanen 2008). Recent cultural resource management investigations associated with preparations for the removal of the former amusement park’s submarine theater demonstrates that our knowledge of the fluvial geology is still incomplete (Leezer et al. 2011).
This thesis will present the methods, results, and interpretations of an investigation of Late Pleistocene and Holocene sediments in order to increase the resolution of our understanding of the geoarchaeological record of Spring Lake (Figure 1) with emphasis on inundated sediments. The objective of this research is to achieve a more thorough understanding of the stratigraphic contexts of alluvial deposits now flooded by a man-made lake in a chronologically controlled framework.