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An Archaeological and Geomorphic Survey of Paleoindian Sites at Harlan County Lake, Harlan County, Nebraska.

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Final rept. 1995-1996,

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The Harlan County Lake Paleoindian Project utilizes information from amateur archaeologists to document Paleolndian cultural resources at Harlan County Lake. Background information on Paleoindian resources and geomorphology at the lake and nearby areas of the Republican River valley is presented. Ten new sites are recorded, nine of which contain Paleoindian artifacts. Eight other previously recorded sites have additional Paleoindian components added, or additional Paleoindian artifacts described from previously recorded possible Paleoindian sites. Two sites were tested to determine if intact Paleoindian components exist. The first site, 25HN178, first thought to be a possible Folsom site, instead is interpreted as a Late Archaic or Woodland site based on radiocarbon ages. One Folsom artifact is present at the site, however. Site 25HN183, has burned features in late Pleistocene loess. One feature contained small burned bone fragments, ash and charcoal. At present, we do not know if this site represents human-constructed or a natural burn features. Information concerning late Pleistocene paleontological finds at Harlan County Lake is presented. In addition, there is a discussion of unprovenienced Paleoindian artifacts. We conclude that there is a diverse and very significant Paleoindian occupation in the Harlan County Lake area. These important resources are being exposed because most of the shoreline of Harlan County Lake is eroded into Late Pleistocene and early Holocene geological deposits. Recommendations for management of these rare cultural resources include additional testing at some sites, and an extensive survey of all Late Pleistocene and early Holocene deposits exposed at the lake. At present, we do not have enough information to determine whether any of these sites are for the National Register of Historic Places.

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  • Humanities and History

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