Palynology and Paleoecology of a wood-bearing clay deposit from Deepstep, Georgia

Fredrick J. Rich, Amy Semratedu, Jessica Elzea, Lee Ann Newsom

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20 Scopus citations


A wood-bearing clay deposit, believed to represent an ancient beaver dam or lodge, was discovered in a kaolin mine near Deepstep, Georgia. The pieces of wood, which were radiocarbon dated at >47,470 years of age, were typically short branches (about 30 cm). Many had faceted or bevelled ends, none of them had bark, and they were mixed with clay, silt, and well-rounded pebbles. A number of thin branches with bevelled ends were perpendicular to bedding in sediments that lay some distance from the main accumulation of wood. These are interpreted to represent the food cache of the ancient beavers. Several wood samples were identified as Taxodiaceae, and probably are from cypress, Taxodium sp. Three pollen samples contained a variety of tree, shrub, and herbaceous pollen types, including Alnus, Liquidambar, Pinus, Picea, Quercus, Taxodium, Gordonia, Typha, and sedges. The assemblages of both warm- and cool-climate taxa suggest that the ranges of the northern and southern plants overlapped at the time of deposition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)71-80
Number of pages10
JournalSoutheastern Geology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geology


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