Floodplain formation processes and archaeological implications at the grand banks site, lower grand river, Southern, Ontario

Ian J. Walker, Joseph R. Desloges, Gary W. Crawford, David G. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations


Processes of floodplain development and the record of Princess Point cultural occupation (A.D. 500-1000) were examined at the Grand Banks site in the lower Grand River of southern Ontario. The Princess Point Complex of the early Late Woodland is significant because it represents the first shift to horticulture in this region in which inhabitants made significant use of floodplains. The floodplain of the lower Grand River has been constructed primarily via vertical accretion of sediment in a low energy environment conducive to limited erosion and slow burial of middle and late Holocene sediments. At this site, cultural materials are preferentially preserved in two buried soils each corresponding to relatively stable periods of valley infilling at or before 3200 B.P. and 1500 B.P. (14C years). Initial formation of the floodplain and subsequent stability of the floodplain surface can be tied to middle Holocene, and later, base-level fluctuations in Lake Erie. Understanding floodplain development is crucial in determining the linkages between settlement pattern and chronology, and, conversely, the archaeological record in floodplain settings provides important contemporary data for modeling floodplain geomorphological processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)865-887
Number of pages23
JournalGeoarchaeology - An International Journal
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 1 1997
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • Archaeology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)

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