Thesis and Dissertation Abstracts

Oneota Mortuary Practices in Eastern Wisconsin

by Kathleen M. Foley Winkler
Abstract of Masters Thesis 
Department of Anthropology 
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee 
May 2004

This comparative study is an analysis of mortuary Developmental Horizon Oneota mortuary practices in southeast Wisconsin. The mortuary patterns and osteological remains from four Oneota Sites, the Pipe Site in Fond du Lac County, the Walker-Hooper Site in Green Lake County, Carcajou Point in Jefferson County, and the Crescent Bay Hunt Club Site in Jefferson County were examined.  The results of these analyses were then compared against each other, what is known of Oneota mortuary practices, and against Langford and Middle Mississippian mortuary practices, in order to contextualize the findings from a regional perspective.


Lithic Technology and Subsistence Change in the Thirteenth through Seventeenth Centuries: An Example from the Zimmerman / Grand Village of the Kaskaskia Site in the Upper Illinois River Valley

by SungWoo Park
Abstract of Doctoral Dissertation
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
December 2004

This dissertation is a comparative analysis of lithic technology between the prehistoric to historic time periods represented at the Zimmerman site (11-Ls-13), a major late prehistoric and historic site in the Upper Illinois River Valley. Specifically, the study is a focus on how lithic technology shifts are related to subsistence activities and changing economic environments as the occupants of the site began to hunt bison after A.D. 1450. A technology is the balancing mechanism between economic benefits and energy expenditure. In other words, changes in technology are largely a reflection of changes in other aspects of culture, including population densities, mobility, and settlement systems. The technological change is an adaptive response to changes in energy demands in non-technological aspects of human adaptation to the environment. Tool making behaviors are strongly influenced by many factors, such as the distribution of raw material, food sources, and settlement location. Therefore, specific styles and techniques of tools found at archaeological sites represent a specific solution to the problems of adapting to local environments. But factors other than gross environmental variables may also condition how and why particular technologies are used. At the Zimmerman site floral and faunal data show change in subsistence and mobility from Heally phase agriculture, deer hunting and fishing to Danner bison hunting and agriculture. The Danner population brought a new ceramic tradition and way of life. However, lithic data show only subtle changes in raw material use. These changes are seen in both debitage and tools.


Identifying household cluster and refuse disposal patterns at the Strait Site: a third century A.D. nucleated settlement in the Middle Ohio River Valley

by Jarrod Danial Burks
Abstract of Doctoral Dissertation
Department of Anthropology
Ohio State University
2004

In this dissertation I examine a problem in the study of Middle-Late Woodland period community re-organization in the Middle Ohio Valley through an analysis of the Strait site, a little known, third century A.D. archaeological deposit in central Ohio. Previous research in the region indicates that during a three-hundred-year period between A.D. 200 and A.D. 500 the organizational structure of settlements—the location and arrangement of households within communities—changed significantly through a process of household nucleation. I propose that artifact patterning at the Strait site resulted from the secondary refuse disposal behaviors of contemporaneously occupied household areas. To evaluate this proposition, I first develop a working model of household trash disposal patterns using principles of refuse disposal generated from ethnoarchaeological data. The expected pattern of refuse accumulation is then compared to the Strait site archaeological record through an analysis of debris collected during a shovel test survey. Artifact clusters are detected through a distributional analysis of four dimensions of artifact variability: size, function, density, and diversity. I conclude that the Strait site artifact patterning is consistent with the secondary refuse disposal patterns predicted by the ethnographically derived model. I then identify the possible locations of five to six households at the Strait site. Two of these locations are further examined using geophysical survey and block excavation. The partial remains of structures are identified at both. Assuming that these possible household clusters are contemporaneous, as I argue, the Strait site is the earliest known nucleated settlement in the region. The presence of a nucleated community at Strait during the third century A.D. indicates that the transition from dispersed to nucleated communities began at the peak time of Hopewell earthwork construction and use—sometime before the Hopewell decline. By the time this process of community reorganization was widespread in the sixth century A.D., the Hopewell ceremonial centers had been abandoned. The new settlement data presented in this dissertation are an important example of early household nucleation in the Middle Ohio River Valley. These data also support the proposition that household nucleation began in locations peripheral to core Hopewell areas.


Clam River Focus Ceramics Re-Examined: Variation with the Type Collection at the Milwaukee Public Museum

by Laura A. Halverson
Abstract of Masters Thesis
Department of Anthropology 
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
2004

During the 1935 and 1936 field seasons, W.C. McKern of the Milwaukee Public Museum and Ralph Linton of the University of Wisconsin led students in excavations of the Clam and Spender Lake Mounds and the surrounding areas and campsites. Based on this fieldwork, McKern described a new variant of the Late Woodland in northwestern Wisconsin, which he called The Clam River Focus.

Since the publication of McKern's Clam River report in 1963, in which he introduced a new pottery type termed Clam River wrapped-stamped globoid, these ceramics have become synonymous with the Clam River manifestation in northwestern Wisconsin. Researchers that have worked in the area often referred to McKern's pottery type, but also expanded into include multiple Clam River sub-categories. Still, there is continuing controversy concerning the variation within Clam River Ware.

The research presented here includes an attribute based analysis of McKern's collection of Clam River ceramics from the Clam and Spencer Lake type sites. The collection housed at the Milwaukee Public Museum and is supported by notes, photographs, and maps. This analysis describes the range of variation of ceramics within the Clam River type collection. The conclusions support an expansion of McKern's original description of Clam River Ware. At least six distinct ceramic categories are identified within the original Clam River collection. Aztalan Collard sherds appear in the collection, as well as St. Croix Series: Dentate Stamped Variety, a minimum of one unnamed incised type, Blackduck-like pottery, and two provisional types called Mound Beach Cord-Marked and Mound Beach Twisted Cord.

In addition, analysis of available provenience data indicates that less than 6.75% of the ceramics in the collection were recovered from mound contexts. The bulk of the Clam River ceramic assemblage was recovered from non-mound, domestic proveniences.

Finally, a review of calibrated date ranges for the Clam Lake and Spencer Lake material suggests an initial late Middle Woodland occupation circa calibrated AD 540 to AD 760, followed by a Late Woodland occupation spanning calibrated AD 800 to AD 1260.


Vertebrate Resource Utilization at the Late Prehistoric Component of the Bell Site (47Wn9): An Application of Optimal Foraging Theory to Subsistence Analysis

by Ralph Koziarski
Abstract of Masters Thesis
Department of Anthropology 
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
2004

This study is an analysis of subsistence at the Late Prehistoric period component of the Bell site, located in eastern-central Wisconsin. A sample submitted for radiometric dating indicates that the Bell site was occupied ca. 1222-1275 cal A.D., a time when shifts in subsistence and settlement patterns were happening in many societies living in southeastern Wisconsin.

Two hypotheses, both rooted in Optimal Foraging Theory, were formed to test what choices foragers at the Bell site made in regards to vertebrate resources. The first hypothesis asks if foragers from the site sought to maximize nutritional yield from animals by focusing on large prey. The second hypothesis asks if Bell site foragers sought to minimize energy expenditure by focusing on the most resource rich habitat available to them. A prey rank model and a patch choice model were used to construct the hypotheses.

Results suggest that foragers from the Bell site obtained the bulk of their dietary meat from large game, specifically deer, but at the same time chose to invest most of their foraging time harvesting animal resources from nearby Lake Butte Des Morts and its associated wetlands. This pattern corresponds to data from contemporaneous sites in southeastern Wisconsin where horticulture was an integral component of the economy, and where territorial behaviors were spatially restricting foraging habitats.


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