Cactus Hill, Rubis-Pearsall and Blueberry Hill: one is an accident; two is a coincidence; three is a pattern – predicting "old dirt" in the Nottoway river valley of Southeastern Virginia, U. S. A.
Johnson, Michael Farley
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
This thesis covers more than thirty years of the author's research into the Paleoamerican period of the Middle Atlantic Region of North America, including the last 19+ years of focused work on the Cactus Hill site (44SX202) and replication of the Paleoamerican occupation discovered there. Using a landform and geology based predictive model derived from the Paleoamerican occupation at Cactus Hill, the author directed preliminary archaeological testing in three other areas of the same Nottoway River Valley, where Cactus Hill is located. These areas were the Barr site, located 11 miles (18 km.) downriver from Cactus Hill; the Chub Sandhill Natural Resource Conservation Area, located 19 miles (30 km.) downriver from Cactus Hill; and the Blueberry Hill site (44SX327), located approximately 1,000 feet (300 meters) east of Cactus Hill. The latter two produced OSL dated, pre-Younger-Dryas landforms, as predicted. The Rubis-Pearsall site (44SX360), located in the Chub Sandhill preserve also produced a buried Paleoamerican, Clovis age cultural level confirming the model. In addition to the OSL dates, Blueberry Hill also produced a distinct and apparently discrete activity surface with a possible pre-Clovis age Cactus Hill point at the same depth as the Paleoamerican levels at Cactus Hill and Rubis-Pearsall.
PhD in Archaeology