Gingerich, Joseph A. M. and Wagner, Daniel P. 2017. "Terminal Pleistocene Depositional Patterns and Their Relationship to the Paleoindian Occupation of Drainage Basins in the Middle Atlantic Region, USA." PaleoAmerica 3 (4):383-394. https://doi.org/10.1080/20555563.2017.1380441
The impact of the Younger Dryas (12,850–11,700 cal yr BP) on Paleoindian populations has been widely debated in the literature. In the Middle Atlantic region of the United States, fluctuations in alluvial and eolian deposition suggest abrupt environmental changes before and after Clovis (13,100–12,800 cal yr BP). In this case study, we examine changes in fluted point frequencies and sediment deposition. Our results show a decline in post-Clovis fluted points forms compared to Clovis. These data are comparable to other studies that suggest a reduction in human populations or population reorganization following Younger Dryas onset. By examining changes in depositional patterns and fluted point frequencies we see no evidence that landscape stability influenced the use of select drainage basins by Paleoindians. Judged by a general decrease in fluted points the most parsimonious interpretation is that climatic change affected human populations in the Middle Atlantic region.