Thesis and Dissertation Abstracts

Below are abstracts for masters theses and doctoral dissertations with relevance to Midwestern archaeology. Email us if you wish for us to consider posting the abstract of your completed masters thesis or doctoral dissertation.


Climate Change, Migration, and the Emergence of Village Life on the Mississippian Periphery: A Middle Ohio Valley Case Study

by Aaron Comstock
Abstract of Doctoral Dissertation
Ohio State University
May 2017

The emergence of agrarian village life in the Middle Ohio Valley has traditionally been viewed as an isolated, autochthonous development. Fort Ancient (AD 1000-1650) societies are seen as direct descendants of preceding Late Woodland (AD 500-1000) groups. The processes presumed to underlie this transition are gradual aggregation and a growing reliance on maize over time. This project examines village development in detail at Turpin (33HA19), a well-known transitional site in the Little Miami Valley of southwestern Ohio. Relying on the tenets of macroevolutionary theory, I develop a multiscalar framework with four scales of analysis focused on better understanding village development. First, I thoroughly examine one early Fort Ancient site, Turpin, with a focus on community structure, household architecture, chronology, and material culture. Second, I place these finding in the context of contemporary communities in the Middle Ohio Valley, comparing sites based on community structure, architectural style, and ceramic characteristics. Third, I expand scope of analysis by adding contemporary early Mississippian sites in the Lower Ohio Valley and eastern Tennessee, providing a comparative framework for understanding the importance of interregional contact in cultural change. Finally, considering cultural transitions during the period between AD 1000 and AD 1400 occurred in the context of the Medieval Climate Anomaly, I use prehistoric drought data to examine shifting climatic conditions in the Midcontinent. These conditions reflect potential push and pull factors influencing the movement of people throughout this region.

The findings of this multiscalar project provide evidence that the early Fort Ancient period in the Lower Miami Valleys was catalyzed by an influx of Mississippian migrants. Excavations at Turpin have produced evidence of two early Fort Ancient communities. One house in each community was excavated. House 1 is a Mississippian-style wall trench structure first constructed between cal. AD 1040 and cal. AD 1188, and then renovated between cal. AD 1162 and cal. AD 1250. The basin of this structure was filled with refuse, including Mississippian-like shell tempered vessels with plain surfaces. House 2 is another Mississippian-style wall trench structure built between cal. AD 1206 and cal. AD 1270. This house basin was filled with more classic Fort Ancient ceramics after its occupation ended.

Comparing early Fort Ancient sites in the Lower Miami Valleys with contemporary Fort Ancient and Mississippian sites suggests that communities in the Middle Ohio Valley like Turpin, Guard, and State Line were occupied by Mississippian people. These three sites all demonstrate notable Mississippian characteristics, including shell tempered ceramics, circular villages, wall trench houses, and non-local individuals. The movement of Mississippians into the Middle Ohio Valley occurred at a time in which Mississippian polities to the west experienced significant multidecadal droughts. During this time, the Middle Ohio Valley remained relatively wet. These conditions provided important push (drought) and pull (wet conditions) factors for maize agriculturalists. I argue that mounting evidence from Turpin and other early Fort Ancient sites, many of which stand in stark contrast to preceding Late Woodland settlements, reflect the remains of Mississippian communities, the founders of which emigrated from Mississippian centers like Angel, Kincaid, and Cahokia.


Late Paleo-Indian Period Lithic Economies, Mobility, and Group Organization in Wisconsin.

by Ethan A. Epstein
Abstract of Doctoral Dissertation
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
December 2016

The following dissertation focuses upon the organization of Pleistocene / Holocene period lithic technology in Wisconsin circa 10,000 – 10,500 years before present. Lithic debitage and flaked stone tools from the Plainview/Agate Basin components of the Heyrman I site (47DR381), the Dalles site (47IA374), and the Kelly North Tract site at Carcajou Point(47JE02) comprise the data set. These Wisconsin sites are located within a post glacial Great Lakes dune environment, an inland drainage/riverine environment, and an inland wetland/lacustrine environment. An assemblage approach is used to examine the structure of each site’s lithic economy. This broad approach to lithic organization is taken in order to maximize the number of lithic categories for comparison and avoid the more narrow scope of understanding that can result from focusing upon a single lithic category. Prior research has shown that the examination of lithic technology provides a well-founded basis for inference regarding small group economy, mobility, and organization. Current investigations suggest that small groups present during the Pleistocene/Holocene transition may have practiced two bilateral economies, one based more upon lower group mobility or logistical mobility, the other based more upon residential or higher group mobility. These distinctions are important given that our understanding of the correlation between resource use, mobility, and small group organization with environment may be critical in adapting to current socioeconomic problems. Although few Pleistocene/Holocene transition period sites have been systematically investigated in Wisconsin, this examination suggests that both early Paleoindian and late Paleoindian/Early Archaic economies and mobility strategies varied with localized environments. Examination of the data recovered from the Heyrman I, Dalles, and North Tract sites increases the understanding of economic adaptations, small group mobility, and group structure across multiple environments and provides further insight into human responses to changing resource conditions.


Investigating the Functions of Copper Material Culture from Four Oneota Sites of the Lake Koshkonong Region.

by Jacqueline Marie Pozza
Abstract of Masters Thesis
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
December 2016

This thesis explores Oneota use of native copper in the Lake Koshkonong locality between A.D. 1100 and 1400. Over 600 pieces of Oneota copper artifacts originating from four sites were documented and analyzed in order to investigate distribution, production, utilization, and the ideological and social significance behind this raw material. The artifacts analyzed for this study were recovered from Oneota sites adjacent to Lake Koshkonong in Jefferson County, Wisconsin: Crabapple Point (47JE93), Schmeling (47JE833), Koshkonong Creek Village (47JE379), and Crescent Bay Hunt Club (47JE904). These assemblages primarily included awls, beads, pendants, and fragmented material. The data set also includes unique items, such as adzes and a copper mace. Data collected through this project supported multiple conclusions surrounding Lake Koshkonong Oneota copper use. Manufacturing marks on beads provide arguments for multiple manufacturing traditions in the area. The use-wear observed on awls both support and question previous assumptions of their use. Additionally, the distribution of these artifacts among the sites and the iconographic symbols present among the collections suggest larger ideological and social significance of copper within Oneota groups. It also appears that the Lake Koshkonong locality has a prolonged tradition of metalworking that extends from Archaic to Historic period, implying a cultural association with metal production and the physical setting of these sites. Overall, these conclusions suggest that the Oneota viewed copper as a prestige good. These valued items both established and reaffirmed social order and legitimized the ideological, economic, military, and political power of certain individuals or kin groups living along the northwest shores of Lake Koshkonong at this time.


Late Archaic Hunter-Gatherer Lithic Technology and Function (Chipped Stone, Ground Stone, and Fire-Cracked Rock): A Study of Domestic Life, Foodways, and Seasonal Mobility on Grand Island in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

by Fernanda Neubauer
Abstract of Doctoral Dissertation
University of Wisconsin-Madison
December 2016

My doctoral research highlights the complicated trajectories of hunter-gatherers by offering a case study from an understudied but rich hunter-gatherer landscape, the Late Archaic period (c. 5,000-2,000 BP) on Grand Island, Michigan. My analysis of 39,186 lithics from five sites on the island more than doubles the current number of c. 32,000 lithics analyzed in the entire Michigan’s Upper Peninsula from dated Late Archaic sites. In order to investigate how people made decisions related to domestic life, foodways, technology, settlement patterns, seasonal mobility, and landscape interactions on Grand Island, my study integrates multiple lines of evidence — chipped stone, ground stone, fire-cracked rock, artifact spatial distribution analysis, faunal, floral, and lipid residue analyses — to portray a thorough picture of ancient daily life in the region. The primary research objective is focused on identifying domestic life and mobility practices on Grand Island during the Late Archaic period and understanding how these patterns may reflect the strategies of local communities. I suggest that Grand Island represented an important place in the landscape for ancient peoples who repeatedly utilized the island for seasonal social aggregations during autumn to process foods communally in relatively larger scales. Because organic remains are poorly preserved in the region, fire-cracked rock (FCR) is key to investigating ancient diets and how foods were processed and cooked. Although FCRs dominate the Late Archaic assemblage on Grand Island and are found in great quantities at hunter-gatherer sites around the world, FCRs remain an understudied analytical artifact type. I conducted FCR experiments and developed a methodology to analyze FCRs with the purpose of identifying the general signatures of various thermal alteration patterns. My results indicate great inter-site variability among FCR characteristics, cooking methods, and cooking facilities at the studied sites. The larger goal of this study is to contribute to a new appreciation of FCR beyond current approaches that are often limited to basic quantification or presence/absence reporting. The recontextualization of FCR proposed in this dissertation could lead scholars investigating hunter-gatherer sites worldwide to a better understanding of the ancient diets and behaviors associated with food production and site formation processes.


The Introduction of Havana-Hopewell in West Michigan and Northwest Indiana: An Integrative Approach to the Identification of Communities, Interaction Networks, and Mobility Patterns

by Jeff Chivis
Abstract of Doctoral Dissertation
Michigan State University
May 2016

This research examines approximately 500 Middle Woodland (~150 B.C. – A.D. 400) pottery samples from 56 habitation and burial mound sites in west Michigan and northwest Indiana to identify the different types of mechanisms that were associated with the introduction and persistence of Havana-Hopewellian information and ceramic technology in the study region. It achieves this by fusing stylistic pottery analyses with compositional (i.e., ceramic petrography) analyses to define the social boundaries of different types of communities on multiple spatial scales.

The results have provided insight into the complex and dynamic types of cultural interactions and mobility patterns operating within the study region, the distinct behavioral patterns unique to each individual community, and the assortment of mechanisms responsible for the spread and maintenance of Havana-Hopewell. Mechanisms identified in this research include diffusion, fission, migration, family visitation, the likely frequent intermarriage between communities, the seasonal use or scheduling of resource use within buffer zones, territorial expansion, pilgrimage, potential community merger, down-the- line exchange, the likely exchange of food and other material goods, and a shared multi-community mortuary program. The results ultimately suggest that social boundaries on both local and regional spatial scales were open, fluid, and probably unbounded.


Lithic Analysis and Spatial Patterning at the Bremer Site (21DK06), Dakota County, Minnesota.

by Mara Taft
Masters Thesis Abstract
University of Minnesota
May 2015

The purpose of this study was to conduct a lithic and spatial analysis of the Bremer Site (21DK06), Dakota County, Minnesota in order to better understand how lithic tools and raw materials were curated at the site, what lithic activities took place at the site, what raw materials were present, and if these raw materials were differentially used. Providing answers to these questions will greatly increase our understanding of the Bremer site, its inhabitants, and their role in the region.

These questions are addressed by many different analyses. The results of the chipping debris analysis demonstrate the differential use of raw materials by locality and quality at the Bremer site. Locally available Prairie du Chien chert was the primary material used at the site, yet non-local materials had a large presence there, as well, indicating trade of raw materials throughout the region. Additionally, materials were preferentially chosen based on quality and texture. This indicates a non-random selection of materials based on quality for bifacial tool creation.

Two distinctive cultural horizons were identified through the vertical stratigraphy of artifacts within Block 1 with observable differentiations in raw material availability and use. These results indicate cultural differences through time represented in the lithic artifacts and an increase in trade and cultural contact over time at the same site.

The horizontal artifact distributions and activity areas at the site were identified through a spatial analysis of the site. This analysis also indicated a division of knapping events by raw material type and by artifact type over space. These studies and results increase our knowledge of the inhabitants of the Bremer site, their lifeways and site occupation, and their relationship to the larger region in which they lived.

Links: http://search.proquest.com/docview/1725136595
http://conservancy.umn.edu/handle/11299/174724


Late Prehistoric Lithic Economies in the Prairie Peninsula: A Comparison of Oneota and Langford in Southern Wisconsin and Northern Illinois.

by Stephen Wayne Wilson
Masters Thesis Abstract
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
May 2016

This thesis is an examination of the environmental settlement patterns and the organization of lithic technology surrounding Upper Mississippian groups in Southeastern Wisconsin and Northern Illinois. The sites investigated in this study are the Washington Irving (11K52) and Koshkonong Creek Village (47JE379) habitation sites, contemporaneous creekside Langford and Oneota sites located approximately 90 kilometers apart. A two-kilometer catchment of Washington Irving is compared to that of the Koshkonong Creek Village to clarify the nature of environmental variation in Langford and Oneota settlement patterns and increase our understanding of Upper Mississippian horticulturalist lifeways. Lithic tool and mass debitage analyses use an assemblage-based approach to understand the lithic economies at each site, accounting for procurement and manufacturing strategies and assemblage diversity and complexity.


The Prehistoric Economics of the Kautz Site: a Late Archaic and Woodland Site in Northeastern Illinois

by Peter John Geraci
Masters Thesis Abstract
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
May 2016

The Kautz Site (11DU1) is a multi-component archaeological site located in the DuPage River Valley in northeastern Illinois. It was inhabited at least six different times between the Late Archaic and Late Woodland periods ca. 6000-1000 B.P. The site was excavated over the course of three field seasons between 1958 and 1961, but the results were never made public. This thesis seeks to document the archaeology of the Kautz Site in order to better understand the site’s economic history. An environmental catchment analysis was conducted to evaluate the level of time and energy needed to acquire important resources like water, food, wood, and chert. A macroscopic analysis of the lithic assemblage provided information about the lithic economy at the site. The results of the landscape analysis suggest that the site was located in an economically efficient location, however the macroscopic analysis suggests that a source of raw materials for chipped stone tools was not easily accessible and as a result the inhabitants practiced a number of common adaptive strategies to cope with resource scarcity.


Mississippian Community-Making through Everyday Items at Kincaid Mounds

by Tamira K. Brennan
Abstract of Doctoral Dissertation
Southern Illinois University Carbondale
May 2014

This work is all about things. It is about the role that those things play in the human experience, and what they offer to us as archaeologists, whose job is to provide a glimpse into the lives of past peoples. I discuss the things of the past from the theoretical stance of materiality, which assures us that the past is accessible despite the fragmentary nature of its physical remains. This is so because the physical world – objects, landscapes, and space – are imbued with meaning through our interactions with and experiences of them, be they overt and intentional or subconscious and in the background of our active lives. Repeated engagement with the physical world creates habits, memories, and histories and inscribes the social processes that created them upon the tangible world in ways that allow us to interpret the lives of the people with whom we have no direct interaction or accounts.

I use this theory to explore the southern Illinois site of Kincaid Mounds during the latter portion of its Mississippian period occupation, with a focus on how community was constructed and maintained within and through time. I do so using evidence from the non-discursive aspects of ceramic and architectural manufacture under the assumption that the methods of producing these items are habituated and thus reveal communities of learning. I consider contextual evidence to determine what other factors may have been at play in the production of these goods. With statistical analyses, I explore the variation in the way things were made between several spatially discrete neighborhoods at Kincaid Mounds, and discuss those results in terms of the making and manipulation or maintenance of community at this pre-Columbian center, followed by a narrative history of the Middle and Late Kincaid phases. I contrast these finds with those of communities within two other Middle Mississippian regions, Greater Cahokia and the Central Illinois River Valley, in order to discuss the variable processes that led diverse and unique communities to participate in a much broader, imagined Mississippian community.


Vertebrate Evidence for Diet and Food-processing at the Multicomponent Finch Site (47 JE-0902) in Jefferson County, Southeastern Wisconsin

by Zachary R. Stencil
Masters Thesis Abstract
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
May 2015

The focus of this study is the intrasite analysis of the vertebrate faunal assemblage from the Finch Site. The Finch Site (47JE-0902) is located in Jefferson County, southeastern Wisconsin, roughly one mile east from Lake Koshkonong’s southeastern shoreline and the Rock River drainage. Stratigraphy and diagnostic artifacts from numerous cultural features indicate that the site was repeatedly occupied over a temporal span of several thousand years including Paleoindian, Archaic, and Woodland periods. Faunal remains were recovered from 169 excavated units and 119 cultural features across the full horizontal extent of the site.

Investigations of faunal remains from archaeological sites can yield interpretations about prehistoric diet, resource acquisition strategies, food processing, and site function. The multicomponent nature of the Finch site assemblage offers an exceptional opportunity to analyze and explore possible chronological shifts in diet and resource utilization at a single locale. This thesis focuses on the following questions. What vertebrate resources were utilized by occupants of the Finch site? Does vertebrate resource use change through time? What evidence is there for food processing at the site? Does food processing intensity change through time? Where is vertebrate resource use identified spatially at the Finch site? Does vertebrate use change spatially through time?

The total sample analyzed consists of 14,544 vertebrate remains collected from a combination of dry-screen, water-screen, and flotation recovery techniques. Temporal comparisons are made between proveniences using vertebrate class-level identifications. Species level identifications are used in an attempt to identify the season of occupation for the site. A Geographic Information System (GIS) analysis is applied to taxonomic identifications, fragmentation data, and categories of burned bone to investigate differences in the spatial and temporal utilization of the site and to identify patterning in food processing.


“…A Thousand Beads to Each Nation:” Exchange, Interactions, and Technological Practices in the Upper Great Lakes c. 1630-1730

by Heather Walder
Abstract of Doctoral Dissertation
University of Wisconsin - Madison
2015

This dissertation addresses the timing of the introduction, exchange, and social implications of two complementary lines of evidence, reworked copper and brass objects and glass trade beads, from 38 archaeological sites of the Upper Great Lakes region dated to c. 1630 to 1730. In this situation of intercultural contact and colonialism, local Midwestern Native peoples encountered European-made trade items, displaced Native newcomers, and eventually non-Native explorers, traders, and missionaries. Anthropological questions of regional interaction, technological continuity and change, long-distance trade, and population mobility are the focus of this project, which has identified material correlates for the chronology and scope of socially-structured exchange networks that facilitated intercultural interaction.

I applied elemental characterization and attribute analysis methods that revealed how long-standing technological practices, such as native copper-working, persisted through time and what techniques people developed to adapt to new materials, allowing me to build inferences about the social significance of these technologies. Laser Ablation – Inductively Coupled Plasma – Mass Spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) was used to identify the “recipes” of 874 glass adornments, which revealed chronological change in glass-making technology in Europe and Native glass reworking methods in North America. A portable X-Ray Fluorescence (pXRF) pilot study and physical attribute analysis of 3,705 copper-base metal artifacts such as beads, tinkling cones, other ornaments, partially worked blanks, and waste products revealed patterns in types and styles of finished objects, the mean size of discarded materials, and continuity of technological practice over time. The project verified pXRF as a viable technique for differentiating native and smelted copper without any cleaning of corroded artifacts.

Conducting new laboratory-based analyses on previously excavated artifacts has enhanced the value of existing collections and highlights the importance of long-term curation strategies for artifacts as well as associated excavation records, maps, and other primary documentation of provenience information and recovery methods. Together, metal and glass analyses demonstrated that the diverse peoples inhabiting the Upper Great Lakes region accessed different quantities and kinds of trade items, and that the trade items themselves and technological methods applied to them varied through time, across space, and according to the historically-attributed ethnic identity of communities.


The Impact of Migration on Community Identity in the Seventeenth Century in the Great Lakes

by Megan Marie McCullen
Abstract of Doctoral Dissertation
Michigan State University

This dissertation uses archaeological and historical data to examine the impact that migration had on community identity among the Wendat communities that moved into the western Great Lakes during the second half of the seventeenth century. Research on contemporary displaced peoples has shown that migration and resettlement processes put severe stress on communities, which can lead to community identity transformation. One particularly unique case is that of a diaspora community, dispersed over several regions and maintaining a distinct emotional link to their homeland. In this research, an archaeological model for recognizing diaspora communities and distinguishing them from other forced migrant groups is developed. This model is rooted in theories of migration, ethnicity and identity and uses Rockman’s model of colonization barriers as a basis for its creation. This model is applied to the migration of the Wendat people who collectively resettled from Southern Ontario into the western Great Lakes during the seventeenth century. Archaeological and historical data associated with five archaeological sites, two in Southern Ontario and three in the western Great Lakes, are analyzed. This data set allows for a diachronic analysis of the long-term impacts of migration, which is not often available to cultural anthropologists. Two main archaeological data sets are analyzed to understand resettlement practices and identity. First, symbolic materials are analyzed. Ceramics, pipes and carved faunal materials are all malleable objects on which individuals can create and modify semiotic systems to reflect their sense of identity. Changes in these materials diachronically and spatially are evaluated using a Brainerd Robinson coefficient of similarity. Secondly, lithic resources at settlement sites are analyzed to determine knowledge of local resources and access to high quality materials as an indicator of social networks and local knowledge. These two datasets are then combined with the ethnohistoric data to evaluate the applicability of Safran’s six characteristics of diasporic communities in the case of the western Wendat. I conclude that this community does indeed reflect a diasporic community. While data suggests that accommodation and integration into local networks in the resettlement area was practiced initially following dispersal, a reassertion of Wendat identity followed. This corresponds to a period of increased stability and reduced hostility from 1670-1701.
 


Oneota Ceramic Production and Exchange: Social, Economic, and Political Interactions In Eastern Wisconsin Between A.D. 1050 - 1400

by Seth Allen Schneider
Abstract of Doctoral Dissertation
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
2015

The time between A. D. 1050 – 1400 is a period of dynamic cultural change in the Western Great Lakes region. During this time period in eastern Wisconsin three distinct and contemporary cultural groups are present: Oneota, Middle Mississippian, and Late Woodland. Many studies have focused on the origins, presence and interaction between these groups. Six Oneota pottery assemblages from three geospatially distinct localities in eastern Wisconsin are examined: Koshkonong, Grand River, and Waupaca localities. Pottery assemblages from two sites in each locality were selected for comparison to determine interlocality social, political, and economic interaction. Ceramic attribute and compositional analyses were conducted and the results utilized to identify and characterize the amount of variation between the ceramic assemblages. Compositional analyses consisted of portable energy dispersive X-ray flourcesnce (ED-XRF) and ceramic petrography.

Three theoretical interaction models, World-Systems Analysis, Peer Polity Interaction, and Tribalization, are discussed and evaluated as possible models for Oneota interaction. These interaction models examine the roles and level of economic, political, and social interaction through trade, coercive force (military), and transmission of social and ideological information between groups.

The results of the analysis indicate both the creation of identity markers within localities and interaction between localities. The data indicates that some groups interacted more than others. Grooved paddle surface treatment in the Koshkonong locality, crimping of the lip of vessels in the Waupaca and Grand River localities, and variations in decorative motifs demonstrate that the localities used these markers for group identity. The ceramic petrographic analysis indicates that the groups shared knowledge of pottery manufacturing with similar percentages of matrix, sand, and temper in the recipe. The ED-XRF analysis indicates that pottery from the Bornick site is more similar to pottery from sites in the Waupaca locality, while the pottery from the Walker-Hooper site is more similar to pottery from sites in the Koshkonong locality.

During this time, the Oneota groups in eastern Wisconsin practiced patrilocal post-marital residence patterns suggesting that women moved from their family’s to their husband's residence, bringing their knowledge of pottery making with them. Social and political alliances through interlocality marriages took place based on the presence of group identity markers on pottery from one locality seen on vessels in another. Kinship (fictive and real) relationships between localities were created from these alliances that assisted in maintaining territorial boundaries and leadership positions to generate social-surplus to gain prestige and provided means of assistance in times of scarcity.


Late Woodland settlement and subsistence in the eastern Upper Peninsula of Michigan

by Sean Barron Dunham
Abstract of Doctoral Dissertation
Michigan State University
2014

This research revisits the debate surrounding Late Woodland subsistence practices in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. The Late Woodland period in the Upper Great Lakes region (ca. A.D. 600 to 1600) is often characterized through models emphasizing the intensive use of a single, primary key resource, particularly maize, fall spawning fish, or wild rice. For example, current Late Woodland subsistence models for northern Michigan focus on the intensive harvest, creation of surplus, and consequent storage of fall spawning fish as the cornerstone of the settlement and subsistence strategy. New data suggests that the dominant settlement and subsistence model is incomplete, lacks explanatory value, and requires revision. This study tests the hypothesis that a suite of potential resources was both present and utilized, allowing for a more flexible set of strategies, i.e. one based upon multiple rather than a single primary resource. Archaeological evidence, ethnographic data, and pilot study results reveal that acorns, maize, and wild rice are likely resources to be incorporated into such a strategy; all can be harvested and stored in the late summer or fall as a buffer against a poor fish harvest. Each, however, also has spatial, environmental, and temporal constraints with implications bearing on archaeological site locations as well as the evidence from the sites themselves.

A spatial analysis of site locations and resource distributions, as well as the composition of site assemblages was conducted to determine what relationships, if any, can be found between resources and site locations. The results identified site location patterns relating to the exploitation of fish as well the potential use of wild rice and acorns, and also revealed changing patterns of site location over time including an emphasis on coastal settings in the early Late Woodland and an increase in interior setting sites in the late Late Woodland. In addition, the study examines strategies for subsistence risk buffering and decision making by Late Woodland peoples and provides new perspectives on resource scheduling, patterns of mobility, social organization, and social interaction.

The nature of the data sets employed in the research, as well as the temporal and spatial scales involved led to the adoption of Resilience Theory as an organizing framework for this study. The application of Resilience Theory is relatively new in archaeology and in this case provides a useful contribution to this line of scholarship in a context which has need of greater theoretical diversity. While an important outcome of the research is a synthesis of our current understanding of the regional Late Woodland, it also contributes a robust understanding of the interaction of hunter-gatherers/marginal horticulturalists with their environment.


Transforming Material Relationships: 13th Century Revitalization of Cahokian Religious-Politics

by Melissa Baltus
Abstract of Doctoral Dissertation
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
May 2014

The rise and eventual decline of Cahokia, the largest pre-Columbian city north of Mexico, reverberated deeply within the historical trajectories of the North American mid-continent and southeast. The 11th century emergence of this multi-ethnic, multi-vocal metropolis appears to have been deeply entangled within a social-religious movement that spread rapidly throughout the region. By A.D. 1100, however, that initial movement seems to have become highly politicized. This increased politicization occurred shortly before an outbreak of violence throughout the mid-continent around A.D. 1150. The transition from the 12th to the 13th century is marked by rapid large scale changes to spaces and objects that were part of the 12th century Cahokian religious-politics.

Archaeological evidence from two thirteenth century villages in the uplands outside of Cahokia, the Olin and Copper sites, supports the supposition that these changes were intentional and targeted toward highly politicized Cahokian “elite” spaces and objects. At the same time, people maintained and/or re-integrated other practices, objects, and buildings reminiscent of the early Cahokian movement, with an increased emphasis on inclusivity. These changes suggest perhaps something akin to a revitalization movement – an intentional, material push for change – led to the return of certain religious practices, and production of their related objects, to the hands of local communities. Objects and spaces typically associated with warfare or violence, specifically fortifications, compounds, and imagery of warfare, appeared in conjunction with these changes. Given the timing and location of these materials of violence, they appear to be part of the 13th century revitalization movement in the American Bottom region.

These two upland sites, Olin and Copper, demonstrate clearly different practices and regional relationships, indicating that people living at these sites were maintaining a certain amount of autonomy while participating within this revitalized Cahokian religious sphere. This decentralization of certain practices and material objects may have occurred at the expense of disentangling the social-political-religious relationships and obligations that may have tied these local communities to each other and to Cahokia. Furthermore, the material aspects of violence that appear during the 12th century to 13th century transformation form key elements of the so-called Southeastern Ceremonial Complex (SECC) that spread throughout the greater southeast.


A Chronology for Warfare in the Mississippian Period (AD 1000-1500)

by Tony Krus
Abstract of Doctoral Dissertation
Department of Anthropology
Indiana University
2013

This dissertation investigates the origins and causes of warfare during the Mississippian Period (AD 1000-1500) in the Midwestern and Southeastern United States. Mississippian peoples shared similar religious beliefs and practiced maize-based agriculture subsistence. They also built bastioned palisades, which are considered archaeological indicators of regional hostility, to defend their towns. Mississippian scholars have divergent opinions about the causes and timing of warfare, but generally agree that the two primary motivations were to control economic resources and to gain political status. Bastioned palisades serve as a proxy measure for the intensification of organized warfare, complexity of military organization, and other aspects of warfare. This dissertation applies Bayesian statistical analyses of stratigraphic and absolute age data to model when palisades were constructed.  Through such an analysis, several broadly accepted propositions about Mississippian warfare are evaluated.

The sample in this study includes nine Mississippian settlements in the Midwest and Southeast, four of which are the largest and most culturally influential towns in the region. This is an adequate sample for understanding the trends and history of warfare in the region. The results of chronological models for palisade building indicate that bastioned palisades were built primarily in the late Mississippian period. This reflects advances in Mississippian military technology and a rise in warfare intensity after AD 1250. Intensified warfare appears largely to have been spurred by diminished resource control and a climate of political instability, suggesting that economic resource control was likely the main reason for Mississippian warfare.


The Construction of a Mound and a New Community: An Analysis of the Ceramic and Feature Assemblages from the Northeast Mound at the Aztalan Site

by Thomas J. Zych
Masters Thesis Abstract
Department of Anthropology
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
May 2013

By the start of the 12th century A.D., the Aztalan site in southeastern Wisconsin was home to Middle Mississippian immigrants from the south and local Late Woodland residents. The amalgamated population coexisted, maintained defensive works, and constructed earthen monuments in the spirit of Middle Mississippian mound construction. One mound, located within the domestic complex of the site in the northeast corner of the palisaded area, was the focus of Wisconsin Historical Society excavations during the 1960s. This thesis utilizes the unreported results of these investigations to highlight the social implication resulting from the prehistoric construction of Aztalan's northeast platform mound. Results demonstrate the Late Woodland sub-mound space was transformed into a Middle Mississippian monument not by means of coercion or cooptation, but rather through socially integrative practices creating a space that symbolized a new pluralistic community unique to Aztalan and the multiple social groups involved.

View a copy (pdf) of this thesis.


Effigy Mounds, Social Identity, and Ceramic Technology: Decorative Style, Clay Composition, and Petrography of Wisconsin Late Woodland Vessels

by Jody Clauter
Abstract of Doctoral Dissertation
Department of Anthropology
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
December 2012

This ceramic analysis is focused on a combination of technical and decorative analyses involving energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence (EDXRF) and petrographic data unused by or unavailable to previous researchers. The ceramics used in this study are non-collared forms of Late Woodland (AD 700 - 1200) types found across southern Wisconsin. Ceramic attributes from these data sets are analyzed using multi-variate statistical methods and the resulting clusters are plotted geographically. Results indicate regionalization of particular attributes with a major east-west trend noted in some cases. However, geographical plotting shows broad overlap among river valleys and locales. Importantly, EDXRF data demonstrates that ceramics or clays were transported across the landscape.

The results are used to assess three models commonly used to explain Late Woodland group spatial distribution and interaction: Monolithic, Low-level Territorial, and High-level Territorial. However, while it is argued the Low-level Territorial model best represents the data, the ceramic attributes indicate that multiple types of social organizations were practiced over space and time during the Late Woodland and that multiple territorial models are necessary to fully understand the social interactions occurring during this period.

Finally, it is hypothesized that these results are best approached from a performance perspective where the social organization provides a contextual basis for investigating the daily performance of pottery making. Pottery manufacture is used to assess the constant making and re-making of social relationships at multiple levels of interaction in an egalitarian setting. It is hypothesized that different suites of attributes reflect different levels of group membership and that potters are consciously selecting attributes to negotiate these nested relationships through the practice of pottery construction.


Oneota Lithics: A Use-Wear Analysis of the Crescent Bay Hunt Club Assemblage from the 2004 Excavations

by Katherine M. Sterner
Masters Thesis Abstract
Department of Anthropology
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
May 2012

The lithic assemblage from the Crescent Bay Hunt Club site (47Je904), an Oneota habitation on the shore of Lake Koshkonong in Southeastern Wisconsin provides valuable insight into 13th-14th century material culture and technology in the Great Lakes.  This study examines materials from the 2004 UWM field school excavations at the site. The analysis first addresses the topics of resource procurement, tool assemblage complexity and diversity, and energetic efficiency, with information derived from a macroscopic analysis of the lithic tools and mass analysis of the debitage.  A combination of low power (10-50x) and high power (200x) microscopic use-wear analyses address issues of tool form and function, including traditional categories of Madison points, humpback bifaces, and thumbnail scrapers as well as the rarely examined class of unretouched flake tools.


Geoarchaeology in the Current River Valley, Ozark National Scenic Riverways, Southeast Missouri

by Erin C. Dempsey
Abstract of Doctoral Dissertation
Department of Anthropology
University of Kansas
August 2012

On the Ozark Plateau, human occupation spanning the last 11,500 14C yr B.P. is well documented in the archaeological record.  Recently, geoarchaeological investigations have been conducted in the reach of the Current River valley contained within Ozark National Scenic Riverways (NSR).  The current study was conducted in an effort to establish a geoarchaeological model for Ozark NSR.  Alluvial stratigraphy, particle-size distribution data, and optically stimulated luminescence ages were used to investigate late-Quaternary landscape evolution and model the geologic preservation potential for cultural deposits. Stable carbon isotope data were used to reconstruct paleoenvironmental change during the late Pleistocene and Holocene.


The Social Networks of Early Hunter-Gatherers in Midcontinental North America

by Andrew A. White
Abstract of Doctoral Dissertation
Department of Anthropology
University of Michigan
September 2012

This dissertation integrates ethnographic information and computational modeling to build theory about hunter-gatherer social networks and the relationships between the characteristics of those networks and patterns of variability in material culture.  Key mechanisms of personal network formation (mobility, marriage, and kinship) and social learning are represented in an agent-based model which allows both system-level social networks and large-scale patterns of artifact variability to emerge from the “bottom up” through numerous human-level behaviors and interactions.  This model is used to: (1) identify patterned relationships between the human-level behaviors that we can observe ethnographically and the characteristics of the system-level social networks that emerge through those behaviors; and (2) explore how the characteristics of system-level social networks are related to the patterns of variability in items of material culture whose production is mediated through those networks.  Comparisons between archaeological artifact assemblages and artifact assemblages produced during model experiments are used to evaluate network-based explanations for the appearance and disappearance of stylistic regions during the Paleoindian and Early Archaic periods (ca. 11,050-8000 radiocarbon years before present) in midcontinental North America.  These comparisons suggest that the appearance of stylistic regions during the Middle and Late Paleoindian periods was most likely the result of processes of stylistic drift operating across social networks that were less inter-connected than those of the Early Paleoindian period.  Decreasing social connectivity across the midcontinent was probably related to an uneven distribution of population as hunter-gatherer individuals, groups, and systems responded to environmental change at the end of the Pleistocene.  Population growth and the emergence of relatively homogenous environments at the beginning of the Holocene (ca. 10,000 radiocarbon years before present) would have increased social connectivity and diminished the capacity of drift processes to produce stylistically differentiated regions.


An Archaeological Model of the Construction of Monks Mound and Implications for the Development of the Cahokian Society (800 - 1400 A.D.)

by Timothy Schilling
Abstract of Doctoral Dissertation
Department of Anthropology
Washington University in St. Louis
December 2010

This dissertation presents a model for the development of Cahokian society through the lens of monumental construction. Previous models of Cahokian society have emphasized the accumulation of individual power and domination of the many by a few. Using analogies from the ethnography and ethnohistory of Dhegian Siouan speakers, I argue the Cahokian system likely contained both achieved and ascribed statuses mediated through a worldview that emphasized balance and integration of the whole. In the face of a growing population, this kind of structural organization may have precluded the development of class conflict and, at the same time, permitted the development of large-scale societies. The analysis of monumental construction focuses primarily on the construction of Monks Mound. Through a combination of stratigraphic and chronometric data, the construction of Monks Mound is argued to be a definable and discrete event in the history of Cahokia. In this view, Monks Mound is a ritual vehicle created to integrate a large population.


Creating the Cahokian Community: The Power of Place in Early Mississippian Sociopolitical Dynamics

by Alleen Betzenhauser
Abstract of Doctoral Dissertation
Department of Anthropology
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
2011

This study is an examination of how sociopolitical change occurs, particularly the formation of large scale polities from culturally diverse populations. Drawing on Benedict Anderson’s concept of “imagined communities” and recent developments in archaeological theory, particularly agency and practice theory, I contend that the social construction of space and community identities at multiple scales were instrumental in the creation of the Cahokia polity in the American Bottom region of southwestern Illinois around A.D. 1050. 

In this study, I employ a multi-scalar perspective that includes detailed analyses of material culture, architecture, and spatial organization at five sites located in the American Bottom floodplain near the monumental Mississippian site of Cahokia. All five sites include occupations dating to the Mississippian Transition (A.D. 975–1100) which spans the Terminal Late Woodland Lindeman and Edelhardt phases (A.D. 1000–1050) and the early Mississippian Lohmann phase (A.D. 1050–1100). The mapping, geophysical survey, excavation, and material analyses for each of these sites combined with regional comparisons using a Geographic Information System provide evidence for changes in the construction of space, movement of people into and around the region, and the simultaneous dissolution of local communities and the construction of a large–scale community identity centered on Cahokia.


Plainview Lithic Technology and the Late Paleoindian Social Organization in the Western Great Lakes

by Daniel M. Winkler
Abstract of Doctoral Dissertation
Department of Anthropology
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
May 2011

The following dissertation is focused upon use of Plainview lithic technology as represented by lithic debitage and tools at the Dalles site (47IA374) and the Kelly North Tract at Carcajou Point (47JE02) in southern Wisconsin.  This work takes an assemblage approach to understanding the structure of the lithic economy in use at these sites.  The primary reason to examine not only tools, but the broader aspects of lithic reduction strategies at this site is to examine Paleoindian mobility, site structure, household makeup, and ritual in the western Great Lakes during the early Holocene (circa 8600 B.P.).  Since very few sites from this period have been scientifically excavated in the western Great Lakes, the Dalles site and the Kelly North Tract offer an opportunity to provide useful information about the lithic economies of these groups.

The Dalles site was excavated and reported by Overstreet et al. 2005.  Investigations at the site yielded diagnostic artifacts and dates from an occupation assignable to the Plainview tradition.  The site is located in an environment containing abundant lithic resources, including cobbles and pebbles of Galena chert found in a streambed crosscutting the site.   The Kelly North Tract was excavated and reported on by Jeske et al. (2002 and 2003).  The site also contained diagnostic Plainview artifacts.  The site is located in a chert poor environment, with sporadic pebbles and cobbles of chert contained within the glacial till in the region.  Current studies in the western Great Lakes have focused on the hafted bifaces and tools produced by groups at the late Pleistocene/early Holocene transition.  In contrast, this dissertation is focused on the structure of the lithic economy, based on the debitage from the Dalles site and the Kelly North Tract using multiple lithic schemes including mass analysis and individual debitage analysis to determine how Plainview groups in the western Great Lakes created, modified, and maintained their tool kits in different environments.


Oneota and Langford Mortuary Practices from Eastern Wisconsin and Northeast Illinois

by Kathleen M. Foley Winkler
Abstract of Doctoral Dissertation
Department of Anthropology
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
May 2011

The following dissertation is a comparative analysis of mortuary practices displayed by two archaeological cultures: Oneota and Langford.  The Oneota Tradition is a manifestation of Upper Mississippian concentrated in Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Iowa and Minnesota that lasted from approximately AD 1050-1450, while the Langford Tradition is concentrated in northeast Illinois, and lasted from approximately A.D. 1100-1450. Previous research identified two broad burial programs for Developmental Horizon Oneota in southeast Wisconsin (Foley Winkler 2004).  This dissertation expands upon the preceding study by incorporating additional data from southeast Wisconsin and data from Oneota and Langford sites in northeast Illinois.

Burial data are used to make inferences about the social, political, and economic structures represented by Langford and Oneota archaeological cultures.  In particular, culture contact, boundary maintenance and violence across the northern edge of the Prairie Peninsula are examined using mortuary and related data among the sites.  Analysis was conducted on the burial practices and skeletal remains from the Crescent Bay Hunt Club, Schmeling, Wild Rose Mounds, Calumetville, Walker-Hooper, Pipe and Zimmerman sites, and using literature on the Carcajou Point, Gentleman Farm, Robinson Reserve, Oakwood Mound, Material Service Quarry, and Hoxie Farm sites.

It was expected that 1. The mortuary programs for Oneota were different from those of Langford 2. Oneota in Wisconsin were settled in a more stable political and social milieu as contrasted with the marked conflict and violence associated with Langford sites; and 3.  Oneota society was more egalitarian than Langford.  The results demonstrate that Oneota and Langford mortuary programs do vary, however variation appears greater between all the sites than between the two cultures.  Distinctions in burial programs reflect cultural variation which is correlated with regional environmental adaptations within the larger Prairie Peninsula.  Both Oneota and Langford exhibit egalitarian socio-political structures and violence appears localized at sites in Illinois rather than widespread across the region.


Multi-Staged Analysis of the Reinhardt Village Community: A Fourteenth Century Central Ohio Community in Context

by Nolan, Kevin C.
Abstract of Doctoral Dissertation
Department of Anthropology
Ohio State University
2010

Many reconstructions and models of the Late Prehistoric period in the Ohio Valley discuss changes in the structure and organization of primary habitations. These changes are often associated with changes in social organization, intra-community relationships, and socio-political complexity. It is also being increasingly recognized that typological Culture Historical narratives often over-simplify or misconstrue actual local trajectories. What is needed to both develop accurate historical narratives and test extant models is a very large sample of communities with a reconstructed organization pattern. Excavation is not an efficient way to increase the size of the known sample of community organization patterns; however, excavation is still the dominant method of archaeological investigation in the region. In this dissertation I illustrate a multi-staged approach to quickly reconstruct the structure of a given archaeological site (irrespective of time period) applied specifically to a Late Prehistoric community in the Middle Scioto Valley: the Reinhardt Village (33PI880). The approach used here begins with a suite of minimally invasive/destructive data-generation techniques (extensive surface survey, intensive surface survey, volumetric shovel testing, gradiometry, magnetic susceptibility, and soil phosphate) supplemented by excavation. The minimally invasive techniques provided most of the salient details regarding settlement structure and if employed iteratively in a regional survey could quickly increase the database to reconstruct local prehistory and test extant models. Specifically, the strategy employed at Reinhardt could be used to reconstruct 2 – 4 community structures in the typical field school, summer season. The results at the Reinhardt site reveal a small, late fourteenth century planned community. The Reinhardt community is organized around an open, oblong plaza oriented northeast-southwest with multiple activity areas roughly concentrically around the plaza. The Reinhardt community varies from a typical plan in that the activity zones are irregularly distributed around the plaza, with an isolated productive area south and outside of the concentric zones. The Reinhardt investigations add to the knowledge of variability of community structure for the Middle Ohio River Valley in general, but specifically for the Middle Late Prehistoric period of the Scioto River Valley. 


Oneota Settlement Patterns around Lake Koskonong in Southeast Wisconsin: An Environmental Catchment Analysis using GIS Modeling

by Richard W. Edwards IV
Masters Thesis Abstract
Department of Anthropology
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
May 2010

An environmental catchment analysis was conducted to determine the nature of Oneota settlement patterns on the western shore of Lake Koshkonong in Jefferson County, Wisconsin. Previous studies have used coarse-grained analyses which have led to an over generalization of Oneota settlement patterns. This research uses a fine-grained analysis to elucidate the variation of Oneota village placement within the study area. Prehistoric vegetation patterns were recreated using the General Land Office Survey notes and soil data. Two kilometer catchments were drawn around four sites; Crescent Bay Hunt Club (47JE904), Schmeling (47JE833), Twin Knolls (47JE379), and the Carcajou Point (47JE002). Analysis of these catchments clarified the nature of environmental variation in Oneota settlement patterns, increasing our understanding of their overall lifeways.


Paleopathology and Nutritional Health at the Nitschke Effigy Site Dodge County, Wisconsin

by Melissa Bradley
Abstract of Masters Thesis
Department of Anthropology 
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
December 2005

The focus of this thesis is to provide evidence for dietary information for the Late Woodland builders of effigy mounds from a site in Dodge County, Wisconsin. The effigy mound skeletal samples from the Nitschke Mound site in Dodge County, excavated by W.C. McKern in 1928, were examined for the paleopathological signs of a dependency on maize agriculture in order to determine the subsistence strategy of the people who were buried in effigy mounds in this section of southeastern Wisconsin. Although the skeletal remains have been inventoried previously for Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act purposes (Ruth 1997), they have not been examined in depth.

Paleopathological anomalies, such as dental caries, linear enamel hypoplasia, porotic hyperostosis, cribra orbitalia, Harris lines, and arthritis should appear in significant amounts if the population at Nitschke was dependant on maize as agriculturalists. In this study, paleopathologies related to the shift to maize agriculture were looked for while examining the Nitschke site remains at the Milwaukee Public Museum. A complicating factor in this study is that the Nitschke mound builders were almost definitely collecting and consuming wild rice (Zizania aquatica). Wild rice may have provided people at Nitschke with a nutritious dietary staple, preventing the typical pathological signs of maize horticulture on the skeleton.

The results of the study included 1.) a review of the osteological data and conclusions made during the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act inventory at the Milwaukee Public Museum; 2). the identification of relatively small levels of pathologies on the Nitschke skeletal remains; 3.) an approximate determination of the level of starchy plant foods in the subsistence strategies of the people buried at Nitschke; and 4.) an intersite comparison of the Nitschke population to other forager and agriculturalist groups.


Messages, Meanings and Motfis: An Analysis of Ramey Incised Ceramics at the Aztalan Site

by Katy J. Mollerud
Abstract of Masters Thesis
Department of Anthropology 
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
August 2005

Ramey Incised ceramics originated at the large Middle Mississippian site of Cahokia at the advent of the Stirling Phase (AD 1050-1150). The ceramic type is readily identifiable, and primarily characterized by distinctive vessel morphology and a series of incised motifs decorating the upper shoulders of the jar. Ramey Incised pottery appeared roughly contemporaneously at the large fortified village site of Aztalan, located in southeastern Wisconsin. In order to accurately characterize Aztalan Ramey Incised pottery, an attribute analysis was completed for the entirety of the curated Aztalan Ramey Incised ceramic assemblage. Aspects of vessel morphology, surface treatment, metric data and motif information were included for analysis.

With the intention of characterizing local varieties of Ramey Incised pottery, ceramic assemblages from Cahokia, and the John Chapman and Lundy sites of the Apple River region of northwestern Illinois were analyzed, as well. For the most part, the same attributes were recorded for the Ramey Incised ceramic assemblages of all the sites. A full description of each site's Ramey Incised pottery allowed the ceramic assemblages to be compared against one another in order to determine if any regional variation existed.

Several statistical methods including Chi-square tests, analysis of variance, and correspondence analysis demonstrate similarities and significant differences between the ceramic assemblages, and specifically between the motif suites of the four sites. First, several motifs specific to the hinterland sites were identified, and appear to be associated with a hinterland variation of the Ramey Incised design field. Second, Ramey Incised pottery from the Lundy site is morphologically different than its companion site in the Apple River region, and motif expression at Lundy is quite restricted when compared to the other three sites. Third, the motifs expressed at Aztalan and the Apple River sites are a sub-set of Cahokian Ramey Incised iconography. As a corollary, the results of this analysis suggest that Aztalan and the Apple River sites most likely were derived from Cahokia, but that Aztalan did not originate from the Apple River region.


The Ohio Hopewell Blade Industry and Craft Specialization: A Comparative Analysis

by Kevin Christopher Nolan
Director of Thesis: Mark F. Seeman
Abstract of Masters Thesis
Kent State University
August 2005

The Turner workshop is one of a growing number of blade-making sites recognized as associated with the major Hopewell earthwork complexes of the Ohio Valley. Blade-making is an important aspect of the Hopewell episode and a potential context for specialized production by craftsmen. Yerkes (2003:18) recently has suggested that craft specialization should be viewed as a continuum with specific situations representing one of many possible levels of intensified production. This thesis first examines the level of intra-Hopewell blade industry consistency among continuous and categorical blade and blade-core attributes. Next, the relative variability in continuous blade attributes within the Turner Workshop sample is compared with the relative variability of blade industries from other cultural contexts to gain perspective on the relative position of the Ohio Hopewell blade industry on the specialization continuum. Relative variability is measured by the Coefficient of Variation adjusted for bias (CV*), and CV*s are compared with a modified t-test as recommended by Sokal and Braumann (1980:61-62). Based on the high level of relative variability present within the Turner Workshop sample, the lack of standardization in the production process, and the high error rate evident in the final products of the industry it is concluded that craft specialization is not a characteristic of the Ohio Hopewell blade industry.


The Creation of Space and Place at Cahokia: Mound 72, Mound 96, and the Mound 72 Precinct

by Robert Joseph Watson
Abstract of Doctoral Dissertation 
Department of Anthropology 
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
May 2005

The Cahokia site is one of the most visually impressive archaeological sites in North America. Comprised of over 100 earthen mounds, expansive plazas, and other monumental constructions, prehistoric Cahokia was the largest and most populous expression of the Mississippian cultural pattern in North America. No other Mississippian community was built on the scale of Cahokia or contained as many monuments. In this study, the monuments of Cahokia are viewed as an active, and essential, component in the transformation of Cahokia into a culturally meaningful place, or sacred landscape. This study is focused on a portion of Cahokia that includes Mound 72 and the recently excavated Mound 96 in order to assess the importance of the creation of place in the early Mississippian period centralization of political control at the site. These data indicate that the construction of monuments was an early, and necessary, element of the creation of place at Cahokia and resulted in a built environment permeated with social meaning and value. As a socially meaningful place, Cahokia and its monuments formed a landscape of power used by elites to legitimize and justify their claims of ascendancy.

The material manifestations of the creation of place at Cahokia are seen in the artifacts and building sequences of Mounds 72 and 96. The comparative analysis detailed in this study is focused on the material cultural, context, structure, and place of Mound 72 and Mound 96 at Cahokia. Preliminary analysis of these data suggests that these two monuments constituted a significant place within the Cahokian sacred landscape. The importance of this place reached its peak during the Lohmann phase, a time that witnessed the development of a centralized political hierarchy at Cahokia.


Effigy Mound Sites as Cultural Landscapes: A Geophysical Spatial Analysis of Two Late Woodland Sites in Southeastern Wisconsin

by Kira E. Kaufmann
Abstract of Doctoral Dissertation 
Department of Anthropology 
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
May 2005

This dissertation is a spatial analysis of a class of sacred sites known as Effigy Mounds during the Late Woodland period in southeast Wisconsin, circa A.D. 700-1100. Effigy Mounds are earthworks in the shape of animals, conical, linear, or geometric shapes. The research is focused on the upper Rock River Drainage in southern Wisconsin, a region where Effigy Mounds are very common. Although there are many theories concerning the meanings of Effigy Mounds, there is no cohesive description of Effigy Mounds as landscape elements and their function in the use of space by Late Woodland people. This research connects cultural and cognitive aspects of Native American cosmology with physical manifestations on the landscape. Effigy Mounds are examined from ideological and physical perspectives that are not mutually exclusive. Effigy Mounds are viewed as signifiers with multiple levels of function and meaning including sacred space, territorial markers, and mechanisms of social control and cohesion.

Investigation at two Late Woodland Effigy Mound sites, Indian Mounds County Park in Jefferson County and Nitschke Mounds County Park in Dodge County, shows that landscape utilization varied significantly within and among Effigy Mound sites. An alternative model to understand Late Woodland Effigy Mound sites as ritual landscapes explores these features, their distribution across space, and the connection to internal site structures by synthesizing multidisciplinary data from historical ethnographic accounts, previous archaeological surveys, and new geophysical data. This multidisciplinary approach provides an example applicable to other landscape studies.


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.


Eating Ethnicity: Examining 18th Century French Colonial identity through selective consumption of animal resources in the North American interior

by Rory J. Becker
Abstract of Masters Thesis
Department of Anthropology
Western Michigan University
2004

Cultural identities can be created and maintained through daily practice and food consumption is one such practice. People need food in order to survive, but the types of food they eat are largely determined by the interaction of culture and their environment. By approaching the topic of subsistence practices as being culturally constituted, the study of foodways provides an avenue to examine issues of cultural identity through selective consumption. Eating certain foods to the exclusion of others is one method for establishing social distance between peoples and is simultaneously a reflection of this relationship and the types of interactions that take place between the groups. This study explores the issue of cultural identity as expressed through selective consumption of animal resources at five French colonial sites in North America. The outpost known as Fort St. Joseph serves as an example of how one can utilize animal exploitation patterns to determine selective consumption and then the results of this analysis is compared to animal exploitation patterns at Fort Ouiatenon, French Cahokia, Fort de Chartres I, and Fort de Chartres III. Variation in these patterns suggests the different ways in which cultural identities were expressed at each site.


The Richter Site: A Lithic Analysis of a North Bay Site on Wisconsin's Door Peninsula

by Dustin J. Blodgett
Abstract of Masters Thesis 
Department of Anthropology 
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee 
2004

This thesis is the investigation and examination of the lithic economy employed by the Middle Woodland occupants of the Richter Site. The Richter Site is a North Bay Phase site excavated in 1968 and 1973 on Washington Island off of Wisconsin's Door Peninsula. The focus of this study is to describe and understand the lithic technology employed by the people who occupied the Richter Site through the study of the lithic material procurement, stone tool use and discard patterns of its inhabitants.

Also, a comparison is made between the Richter Site lithic assemblage and those of other North Bay sites in order to determine how the site fits into the North Bay lithic assemblage framework. Finally, the lithic technology found at North Bay sites is contrasted against that of other Middle Woodland sites with the aim of determining if the North Bay lithic economy is congruent with that of other Middle Woodland cultures in Wisconsin or if the data suggest a different model of resource utilization.


The Kelly North Phase: Transitional Middle to Late Archaic Lithic Technology at Carcajou Point in SE Wisconsin

by Daniel McGuire Winkler
Abstract of Masters Thesis 
Department of Anthropology 
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee 
2004

This study is an examination of the lithic economy of the transitional Middle to Late Archaic period in southeastern Wisconsin. Excavations at the Kelly North Tract at Carcajou Point in 2002 revealed materials associated with transitional Middle to Late Archaic occupations. These materials are provisionally placed into the proposed Kelly North Phase of the Archaic. Since intact Middle and Late Archaic period sites are rare in southeastern Wisconsin, the excavations at this site offer an opportunity to examine the lithic economy in place during this transitional period. This study will present what is currently known about both the Middle Archaic and Late Archaic periods in Wisconsin and adjacent regions of the Midwest, presenting the problems with dates and lithics from these periods. The lithic materials from the proposed Kelly North Phase will be compared to six intact Middle and Late Archaic sites in southeastern Wisconsin and northeastern Illinois to examine Archaic lithic economies on the Northern edge of the Prairie Peninsula. The materials will also be compared to two larger Middle and Late Archaic sites in west-central Illinois to examine the difference or similarities over a larger region in the Midwest. The proposed Kelly North Phase is a phase that appears to be Middle Archaic based on projectile point morphology, but has radiocarbon dates that are considered to be Late Archaic by most archaeologists. The presence of small, side notched, projectile points, some of which are well dated to the Middle Archaic in other areas of the Midwest, with Late Archaic dates suggests that the transition from the Middle Archaic to the Late Archaic took place later in Wisconsin than in other areas of the Prairie Peninsula.


The Crab Orchard Ceramic Tradition Surrounding the Confluence of the Wabash and Ohio Rivers

by Ian K. deNeeve
Abstract of Masters Thesis
University of Kentucky
May 2004

This study synthesizes research to formulate a picture of the Early (600 BC-150BC) and Middle Woodland (150 BC-AD 300) Crab Orchard settlement patterns in northwestern Kentucky , as a part of the lower Wabash-lower Ohio region. The spatial distribution of sites containing Crab Orchard ceramics is plotted through the presence of Crab Orchard ceramics, and then examined for the relationship between these sites and the physical environment, different site types, and time period of occupation. During the Middle Woodland subperiod the Crab Orchard population increased from a dispersed and sparsely Early Woodland settlement pattern to one consisting of small and large base camps concentrated on terrace and floodplain landforms associated with the Ohio River channel. A further observation is that in more rugged topographic settings, sites tend to be placed in edge environments, located within close distance to landforms that contain different resource bases. The Crab Orchard settlement pattern in northwestern Kentucky is then compared to the Crab Orchard settlement pattern in the larger lower Wabash- lower Ohio region, finding that they are similar. Finally, directions for future research in Crab Orchard archaeology are discussed.


Skeletal Biology and Paleopathology of Domestic Dogs from Prehistoric Alabama, Illinois, Kentucky and Tennessee

by Diane M. Warren
Abstract of Doctoral Dissertation
Department of Anthropology
Indiana University - Bloomington
January 2004

Deliberate burial of dogs was common in the American Midwest and Southeast during the Archaic period (8000-3000 BP). Fewer burials and more butchered remains are found in Woodland (3000-1000 BP) and Mississippian (1000-500 BP) contexts. This shift has been attributed to a changing role of dogs with increased human sedentism and intensification of agriculture. Previous studies of the impact of this cultural shift on dog activity, treatment, and health are limited. Also limited are investigations of the criteria used to select dogs for particular mortuary treatments.

In this study, paleopathology and skeletal biology were used to examine 455 dogs from 44 Archaic, Woodland, Mississippian, and protohistoric sites in Alabama, Illinois, Kentucky and Tennessee. Most of the dogs examined represent intentional burials, although a few, mostly from Illinois, are from contexts suggesting consumption.

Skeletal and dental fractures, vertebral marginal osteophytosis, antemortem tooth absence, periodontal abscess, sex, size, and age at death were evaluated for each dog. Variation among dogs from differing archaeological contexts, time periods, and geographic regions was quantified. The results suggest a cultural preference for male dogs, either in the living dog population, or for burial. Age distributions are similar among most groups, although there is evidence of a cultural preference against including young dogs in human burials, and for the consumption of young dogs. Significant size differences occur between sexes, and there is limited evidence of an increase in dog size after the Archaic period. Differences among groups in skeletal fractures are mainly limited to the vertebrae, and may be related to the use of dogs to carry packs or in hunting. Differential use by human groups of dogs as beasts of burden is supported by the distribution and frequency of vertebral marginal osteophytosis. Skeletal pathologies suggestive of mistreatment also occur. Pathologies exhibited by dogs buried in direct association with humans suggest these dogs engaged in different activities during life than did dogs who were not buried in direct association with humans. Patterns of variation in dental health among the dogs suggest local and temporal differences in diet and activity, both over time and across space.


Mississippian Period Mortuary Practices in the Central Illinois River Valley: A Region-Wide Survey and Analysis

by Michael Strezewski
Abstract of Doctoral Dissertation
Department of Anthropology
Indiana University-Bloomington
Defended: August 2003

This dissertation is a survey and analysis of largely unreported data on prehistoric burial practices in the central Illinois River valley, in Fulton County, Illinois. The data originate from six Mississippian period (A.D. 1050-1450) mortuary sites, comprising a total sample of approximately 500 individuals. Theoretically, I approach mortuary studies with a recognition of the multi-dimensional nature of death and burial. Thus, social organization as well as cosmological and belief-based factors play significant analytical roles. The data show that both men and women had access to positions of authority in Mississippian society, though higher-ranking men outnumber women by a factor of 4 to 1. Status was displayed via similar artifacts for both sexes, suggesting that some of these items may represent regalia for particular offices. Children less than 8 years old were interred with a number of artifacts that were only infrequently found with older individuals. This may indicate that a new social status was conferred upon children at about this age. Many adult women were interred with lithic items placed at the hand. Ethnohistoric evidence suggests that this practice may be a reflection of a belief in a perilous afterlife journey. Overall, the frequency of grave goods increases after AD 1300. This trend coincides with the influx of extra-local migrants into the central Illinois valley. Greater social stress caused by this in-migration may have led to enhanced wealth display among Mississippian groups, with a concomitant increase in the inclusion of weaponry with adult males. Finally, analysis of mortuary-related features at the Morton site suggests that mound construction was arranged after the Native American belief in the division of the universe into Upper and Lower Worlds. This acted as a means to establish links to a sacred order, legitimize tribal organization, and sustain links to the ancestors.


Oneota Subsistence in SE Wisconsin: Agriculture and Plant Domestication at the Crescent Bay Hunt Club Site

by M. Lee Olsen
Abstract of Masters Thesis 
Department of Anthropology 
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee 
2003

The Crescent Bay Hunt Club (CBHC) site along Lake Koshkonong in Jefferson County, Wisconsin, is a Developmental phase Oneota site with a rich floral assemblage including carbonized seeds such as wild-rice, chenopod, maize, squash, and tobacco. This study is an analysis of seed morphology to determine whether the occupants at Lake Koshkonong cultivated or exploited wild indigenous seeds, and to compare the floral remains and subsistence base with contemporary Upper Mississippian sites. The study shows that the Crescent Bay Hunt Club inhabitants were mainly gatherers of indigenous starchy seeds, but then also cultivated maize and cucurbits to supplement their use of wild-rice and chenopods, including the Chenopodium berlandieri complex of the Cellulata subsection. The plant assemblage at CBHC is consistent with earlier Late Woodland subsistence, the eastern agricultural complex, and contemporary occupations with similar aquatic environments. The tobacco of Crescent Bay, however, does not appear to belong to the eastern tobacco group.


Late Woodland Cultural Complexity in Southeastern Wisconsin: A Ceramic Analysis from the Klug (47OZ26) and Klug Island (47OZ67) Sites

by Jody Clauter
Abstract of Masters Thesis 
Department of Anthropology 
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee 
2003

The focus of this thesis is the utility of cultural history taxa, the problems with placing Wisconsin Late Woodland sites within a Horicon or Kekoskee phase description, and a discussion of the broad range of attributes that are subsumed within some Late Woodland ceramic type varieties, especially Point Sauble Collared and Hahn Cord Impressed. Both attribute and typological analysis were undertaken. Emphasis was given to finding associations between collection area and ceramic type varieties, decorative elements, and morphologic traits.

Ceramics from the Klug (47Oz26) and Klug Island (47Oz67) sites were documented and analyzed. These sites were Late Woodland occupation dating to 1 sigma cal. AD 440 to 600 at the Klug site, and 1 sigma cal. AD 1000 to 1190 at Klug Island. Ceramics were found in a variety of surface collection areas and excavation units across the sites. The separate collections were grouped as a larger Klug Complex assemblage for reasons that include geographic spread of material culture and ceramic distribution across collection area boundaries.

Results of S tests, Chi-square, and Classification and Regression Tree analysis suggest that certain ceramic types correspond with collection area, and that these divisions may have temporal implications. However, only some of the decorative elements and morphologic traits accurately predict placement of a vessel type within a collection area, which implies that as type varieties changed over time, certain aspects of pottery production remain constant.

The ceramic variability exhibited at the Klug Complex may be too broad for some standard type variety definitions. Also, the Klug Complex strongly suggests that the Kekoskee or Horicon phase are not sufficient archaeological taxa. Rather, the ceramic data set is only fully understood when discussed as part of dynamic cultural trends through time.


Description and Analysis of Preserved Fabrics from the Northwest Mound at Aztalan: A Late Prehistoric Site in Southeastern Wisconsin

by Theresa Johnsen
Abstract of Masters Thesis 
Department of Anthropology 
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee 
2003

The remains of charred fabrics including twined textiles and woven or interlaced bulrush matting were recovered in 1954 from the Northwest Mound at Aztalan. As a foundation for future study, the fabrics are described, the number of fabrics is estimated and where possible, function is identified. Several methods for observing and collecting of data are explored. Scanning electron microscopy was used to identify some of the plant materials employed in the manufacture of the fabrics. A C14 date of 940 BP ± 60 was obtained from a sample of charred matting. The cordage has a base structure of S twist Z spin. Textiles are mostly open spaced weft twined and the matting is interlaced cord and bulrush. These fabrics appear to be functional with out apparent embellishment. The early radiocarbon date, along with the structure of the cordage and the associated archaeological context suggests a Mississippian affiliation for the textiles.


An Intensive Surface Collection and Intrasite Spatial Analysis of the Archaeological Materials from the Coy Mound Site (3LN20), Central Arkansas

by William Glenn Hill
Western Michigan University
2003

Surface recovered materials from the Coy Mound site (3LN20), Lonoke County Arkansas, are utilized in order to address questions regarding temporal occupations, resource utilization, internal site configuration, and the socio-political organization of the Baytown-Coles Creek period Plum Bayou culture. Distribution plots revealed a mound-plaza site configuration in addition to potential domestic and off-mound midden deposits. While the site organizational plan has implications for a hierarchical socio-political organization, the absence of inter- and intrasite variability in ceramic types and lithic materials support the hypothesis that limited social differentiation was present in Plum Bayou culture and that control over resources was weak.


Delineating the Spatial and Temporal Boundaries of Late Woodland Collared Wares from Wisconsin and Illinois

by John "Jamie" Kelly
Abstract of Masters Thesis 
Department of Anthropology 
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee 
2002 

The focus of this thesis is the temporal, spatial distributions of five different collared ware varieties from northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin. These five collared varieties include Starved Rock Collared, Aztalan Collared, Point Sauble Collared, Hahn Cord Impressed, and a fifth category reserved for unassigned collared wares. In addition, issues of cultural association of ceramic wares to specific groups will be explored.

Since there is no consensus among archaeologists about how collared wares are related to the ubiquitous Madison wares found in the northern Prairie Peninsula, the focus of this study is to delineate boundaries across both time and space for each of the ware varieties from Wisconsin and Illinois. The analysis of this study, therefore, is designed to: (a) provide baseline descriptions of collared wares based on the current literature and collections; (b) describe the depositional context in which these materials were found; (c) construct frequency distributions of wares found at each of the sites identified in this thesis; and (d) construct chronological frequency distributions for each ware type from radiocarbon-dated samples derived from those sites listed in this thesis.

Whether through in situ change, diffusion, or migration, determining how collared wares were introduced to this region is beyond the scope of this study. Rather, the analysis outlined above tests two hypotheses. The first hypothesis claims that Late Woodland groups introduced collared wares into southern Wisconsin from Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan. The alternative hypothesis holds that collared wares developed in situ in Wisconsin out of the local Effigy Mound Tradition. Given the limitations of the current radiocarbon database for collared wares, there is not enough evidence to support either hypothesis. Rather, collared wares appear between ca. A.D. 900 and 1000 in both Wisconsin and Illinois. This ceramic tradition is estimated to end between ca. A.D. 1100 and 1200 when Upper Mississippian ceramics are generally believed to have replaced many of the earlier Late Woodland wares.


A Diachronic Study of Animal Exploitation at Aztalan, A Late Prehistoric Village in Southeast Wisconsin

by Matthew Warwick
Abstract of Masters Thesis 
Department of Anthropology 
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee 
2002 

Animal bone from the Aztalan site (47-Je-1), a late prehistoric village in southeastern Wisconsin, was analyzed and documented. This site served as the location of a Late Woodland settlement and a subsequent Late Woodland / Middle Mississippian village. Faunal remains from two stratigraphic layers, recovered by the 1984 UW-Milwaukee excavations of the ravine midden, were included in this analysis—Stratum 11 and Stratum 5. The focus of this study was the analysis of diet and diet change over time between the Late Woodland settlement (Stratum 11) and the subsequent Late Woodland / Mississippian village (Stratum 5).

Analysis of the faunal remains considered the two primary topics: (1) the role of mammals, birds, fish, and reptiles within the diet and (2) the procurement strategies and dietary role of white-tailed deer. The former topic of analysis investigated use of these four taxonomic groups, mammalian taxa by body size, and resource emphasis by habitat. Deer use was analyzed by body part representation and bone fragmentation rate. The results of these two analyses were compared between the two cultural occupations at Aztalan.

Results of this analysis suggest similar subsistence patterns were practiced by site occupants of the Late Woodland occupation and the Late Woodland / Mississippian occupation. Exploitation of game from local terrestrial and aquatic habitats was equally important for both. Over time, however, a slightly more generalized diet, which included more fish and small mammals, is documented. Deer were important to the diet for both occupations. Deer limbs were the most important deer carcass transport / consumption unit documented. Feasting was not represented at this part of the site during either occupation. Instead, domestic consumption and processing activities are indicated by the body part representation and bone fragmentation data within the two strata.


A Comparative Study of Oneota and Langford Traditions

by Chrisie L. Hunter
Abstract of Masters Thesis 
Department of Anthropology 
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee 
2002

This study is a comparative analysis of two contemporaneous sites from two related cultural systems, Oneota and Langford. Similarities and differences between the sites were examined through analysis of technology, faunal and floral remains, and environmental variables. A catchment analysis was completed to understand environmental factors affecting agricultural practices and resource utilization between the two sites. The issue of agricultural production and the extent this subsistence strategy was utilized at two sites was examined. The Crescent Bay Hunt Club site (Oneota) and Washington Irving site (Langford) are shown to be similar in lithic technology but significantly different in ceramic technology, and subsistence strategies. The Oneota Crescent Bay Hunt Club site occupants were more dependant upon wetland resources than were the Langford occupants of the Washington Irving site.


Late Woodland Settlement Dynamics and Social Interaction in the American Bottom Uplands, A.D. 650-900

by Joseph M. Galloy
Abstract of Doctoral Dissertation
Department of Anthropology
Harvard University
November 2002 

Late Woodland settlement dynamics and social interaction are explored through a comparative analysis of three Patrick phase (A.D. 650-900) habitation sites (Dugan Airfield, Sprague, and Rhonda) located on adjacent portions of the Dupo-Waterloo Anticline in the southern American Bottom uplands. Detailed analyses of the structures, pit features, and ceramic vessels from these sites are presented, followed by comparisons of selected attributes using data from more than 20 roughly contemporaneous regional sites. 

The dominant characterization of the Patrick phase settlement system is one in which large, permanent, year-round villages were supplemented by smaller, seasonally occupied subsistence camps. A contrasting portrayal envisions frequent scheduled movement between separate residential locations of varying sizes. Support for the latter model is found in feature fill patterns at the Dupo-Waterloo Anticline sites, which indicate periodic abandonment and reoccupation of activity areas. Additional indicators of residential mobility, apparent at these and other Patrick phase sites, include a strong reliance on concealed storage, the destruction of dwellings through neglect, and settlement plans characterized by relatively little internal order or signs of accretional community growth. 

Issues regarding intraregional social interaction are addressed through the distribution of small-scale, non-functional variation in feature and vessel morphology. Such variation appears to reflect learned traditions of technical choice, which in turn correspond to the size and structure of social networks. For example, divergent technical choices made during the construction of dwellings at Dugan Airfield and Sprague stand in sharp contrast to the generally strong similarities in the size and shape of pots and pits from the same sites. A combination of patrilocal residence rules and gender roles is a possible explanation for this pattern. 

Regionally, intersite relationships appear strongest at distances of less than 5 km, reflecting compact yet somewhat porous social networks. Barely detectable local traditions appear to have developed due to relatively low levels of interaction between distant groups. This supports an interpretation that the broad regional similarities in Patrick phase material culture may not reflect large social networks and intense interaction, but the rapid expansion of ancestrally related groups across a sparsely populated region.