Steep Shore, Deadly Environment: A Case for a Cultural Anvil Along the Unembayed Atlantic Coast.

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Joel D. Gunn, Lecturer (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: In his physiography of Eastern United States, Fenneman divided the Atlantic coast into embayed and sea island (largely unembayed) segments at the Neuse River. The southern North Carolina coast is unembayed because of geologic uplift. To the north (i.e., North Carolina and Virginia) and south (i.e., South Carolina and Georgia), submerged coasts and river systems support some of the world’s richest estuaries. Cultural patterns inland from the two kinds of shorelines differ profoundly and reflect a fundamental characteristic of coastlines, shallow and rich or steep and impoverished. The ecological ramifications of these shoreline habitats sum to long-term stability or instability, both near-shore and inland. In pre-modern times, a key variable for human populations was the magnitude of late winter anadromous fish runs. Unstable landscapes such as existed on the southern North Carolina Coastal Plain have been discussed as "cultural anvils." The implications of the cultural anvil model are explored for the region.

Additional Information

North Carolina Archaeology 51:1-33.
Language: English
Date: 2002
Pre-modern history, Human populations, Settlement patterns, Landscape, Environmental influences

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