My name is Adam. I am currently pursuing my archaeology MA while shovelbumming, and my preferred areas of study are Paleoindian and submerged prehistoric archaeology. Welcome to this corner of my life, I hope it treats you well.
The Wayne’s Sink Site: A Submerged Quarry in the Aucilla River, Northwest Florida
Stone, bone, and ivory artifacts recovered from displaced context within the Aucilla River are often surficially discolored and described colloquially by Florida researchers as “stained” or “patinated.” Geologically, these two terms describe very different chemical weathering processes. To determine the cause of the Aucilla River discoloration, statistical analysis of geochemical data was combined with microscopic analysis of chert thin sections. Based on these analyses, it has been determined that artifacts within the Aucilla River are subjected to staining through the diffusion and oxidization of iron coupled with surficial deposition and oxidization of manganese. The thin sections above illustrate the visual effects of these process. Notice how staining normally manifests in a black or dark brown color. In thin section, however, it is clear the iron diffusion and oxidization results in the colloidal rust-colored stain; the dark coloration visible on the exterior of artifacts is likely oxidized manganese coupled with limited light reflection.
The Wayne’s SInk Site: A Submerged Quarry in the Aucilla River, Northwest Florida
The chert outcrop at Wayne’s Sink was only accessible to Paleoindian and Early Archaic peoples, after which it was inundated by rising sea and aquifer levels. Evidence of past quarrying activity is still visible on the limestone outcrop. Biface and tool fragments, unifacial flake tools, cores, retouched flakes, and utilized flakes were present within the collection. Still, tools represented only 1.08% of the lithic artifact assemblage, indicating that chert procurement and early stage lithic reduction were the primary forms of human activity at the site.