Department or Program


Second Department or Program



Through an analysis of Indigenous knowledge, archaeological data, and geological mapping, this study investigates the environmental and human history of the Israel River valley, New Hampshire, after deglaciation-- from roughly 14,000 to 10,000 years ago. The focus of this study is the relationship between the proposed postglacial Alderbrook and Riverton stages of Glacial Lake Israel and the Israel River Complex (IRC) archaeological sites on/among till hummocks on the eastern valley wall (Boisvert et al., 2017). Maps were made in GIS of the glacial and postglacial stages using LiDAR (from the Lancaster E and Jefferson 7.5’ quadrangles) obtained through NH Granit. Alderbrook and Riverton Stage shorelines were modeled using elevations from a spillway at Riverton, NH, (Thompson, pers comm.). Wave cut shoreline features seen in elevation profiles made using the DEM support the spillway elevation for the Alderbrook Stage. The three glacial stages, named the Bowman, Pine Knob, and Bailey’s stages, have been mapped by Thompson et al., 2017 and new maps were made as part of this study. Mapping of geomorphologic landscape units in the study area showed four classes: hummocky till (stagnation moraine), smooth till, bedrock, and what is referred to as lake bottom (even topography in the floor of the Israel River Valley, overlain by alluvium). Spatial patterning of the units was compared to models of Bailey’s, Alderbrook, and Riverton Stage shorelines made using LiDAR in GIS to determine agreement/disagreement with the GIS modeling method. Good correlation was found between boundaries of hummocky till and smooth lake bottom and the Alderbrook and Riverton shoreline models. A radiocarbon date obtained from a fragment of Alnisedi (eastern hemlock) confirms the coexistence of the postglacial Alderbrook Stage with the occupation period of the IRC sites, and models of this stage show that the lakeshore was proximal to the sites. The existence of the Alderbrook Stage (and the Riverton stage after it) in the Israel River valley certainly had impacts on plant and animal species and the humans that lived there. In addition to impacting caribou migration routes and hunting patterns/strategies, (Boisvert, 2012; Boisvert et al., 2017) these postglacial lakes supported the existence of numerous other species that were important resources for the valley’s human occupants. A consideration of Indigenous knowledge (oral histories, traditional ecological knowledge) and use of some modes of the Indigenous Research Paradigm (Lambert, 2018) is equally important to understanding past interactions between humans and the environment in this region, and is woven in to the analysis alongside archaeological data.

Level of Access

Restricted: Embargoed [Open Access After Expiration]

First Advisor

Eusden, Jr., Dykstra

Second Advisor

Barnett, Kristen

Date of Graduation


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Number of Pages


Components of Thesis

1 PDF file