Late Pleistocene and early Holocene landscapes exposed during the last glaciation have since been inundated by rising sea levels, resulting in their submergence and often subsequent burial by sediment accretion. On the outer continental shelf (OCS) in the northwestern Gulf of Mexico (GOM) the formerly exposed landscape coincides with the presence of Paleoindian and Early Archaic human populations in the region. Unlike submerged prehistoric sites in other parts of the world the emphasis in the northwestern GOM is not on artifacts or even sites, but rather on the identification of the landscapes in which archaeological sites would have been located prior to sea-level rise. The first step in identifying and verifying these features, and any subsequent sites, consists of geophysical remote sensing, especially acoustic profiling, to identify subseafloor horizons and depositional events considered conducive for human habitation. This paper will look at current methods for identifying prehistoric sites on the GOM OCS, challenges faced in identifying prehistoric sites using the most prevalent technologies, and will briefly explore alternate technologies that are available or in development that could improve our current capabilities.

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