Exploratory pollen analysis on Appledore Island at the Isles of Shoals, a group of nine islands located approximately eight miles off the coast of southern Maine and New Hampshire, indicates that pollen preservation is excellent in exposed island soil deposits in the temperate zone and that pollen percolation into deposits from surface preserves the record of natural and cultural events where dep cultural deposits have not developed. The Appledore pollen spectra registered the establishment of the resort hotel industry on the island in the mid-19th-century, the virtual abandonment of the island after a major fire in 1914, and the chestnut blight of ca. 1925 on the mainland. The high rate of pollen percolation, ca. 1 cm in 4.2 years, in the loose, organic soils and the shallow deposits on the island limit the palynological land-use record in exposed soils to ca. 175 years. Because pollen is protected from leaching by large flat stones, evidence for 17th-, 18th-, and early 19th-century land use should be recovered by seriating pollen proflies taken from under surface-laid foundation stones and from under foundation stones cast down during dismantling of structures.
Kelso, Gerald K. and Harrington, Faith
"Pollen Record Formation Processes at the Isles of Shoals: Botanical Records of Human Behavior,"
Northeast Historical Archaeology:
18, Article 6.
Available at: http://orb.binghamton.edu/neha/vol18/iss1/6