The transition from the late Pleistocene to the early Holocene is known to have been a time of dramatic climatic and environmental changes, however there is still much that is not known about this period in North America. The Peace River Region of Northeast British Columbia is especially interesting because it is located in the hypothesized biogeographic corridor, allowing previously uninhabitable land to become open for colonization by plants, animals and humans at the end of the last ice age. Tse’K’wa (formerly known as Charlie Lake Cave), is a unique site within the Peace River Region that has well preserved fauna, well stratified and dated layers, and spans the late Pleistocene/early Holocene transition. This study uses the Tse’K’wa microfauna to understand local and regional environmental change, and its implications for human occupation in Northeast British Columbia. This study examines vertebrates deposited at Tse’K’wa between about 10,500 and 9,000 BC. A sequence of four assemblages documents a change from open to forested habitats, as well as the development of local wetlands. The nature and timing of these faunal changes correlates well with palynological studies.
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Thesis advisor: Driver, Jon
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