Kelley’s research featured in Sierra article on identifying culturally significant sites

Research by Alice Kelley, a geoarchaeologist at the University of Maine, was mentioned in a Sierra magazine article about archaeologists and Native Americans working together to identify culturally important sites. Along the coast of Maine, there are at least 2,000 prehistoric shell middens, according to Kelley. These middens are exposed and mainly unprotected, the article states. Continued sea level rise will eventually drown many of them, but Kelley notes that coastal development also is a threat. To document these sites before they’re gone, she is creating a citizen science project where volunteers will monitor a midden they may know near their home or a place they visit regularly, Sierra reported. “It is certainly an important part of our understanding of the lifeways and cultural background of the people who lived here before most of us arrived. It’s also a really important Paleo-environmental record,” Kelley said.