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The excavation of the Helen Blazes site (8BR27) between 1949 and 1951 by William Edwards was remarkable for its time, but the assemblage of Archaic and Paleoindian artifacts yielded no materials that could be scientifically dated. This article reports on new excavations at Helen Blazes that were designed to incorporate optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating of quartz sand grains and sedimentological studies of the sediment aimed at a better understanding of the depositional context. The new excavations yielded lithic materials with typologies consistent with those found by Edwards (1954). Samples for sedimentological study were analyzed to better understand the depositional context of cultural materials by means of geoarchaeological analysis of site deposits. The OSL ages ranging from about 5,400 to 12,000 years before present are in line with expectation for Archaic to Paleoindian period contexts. However, the sedimentological and geoarchaeological interpretation together with the fine detail of the OSL results suggest that the cultural material at the site was buried by bioturbation and internal reorganization of the deposits rather than normal geological sedimentation following occupation.
Rink, W. J.; Dunbar, J. S.; Doran, Glen. H.; Frederick, Charles; and Gregory, Brittney, "Geoarchaeological Investigations and OSL Dating Evidence in an Archaic and Paleoindian Context at the Helen Blazes Site (8BR27), Brevard County, Florida" (2012). Geography & Earth Sciences Publications. Paper 1.