Presenters

Jordan FarkasFollow

Academic department under which the project should be listed

RCHSS - Geography & Anthropology

Faculty Sponsor Name

Dr. Terry Powis

No human subjects were used in the research.

Abstract (300 words maximum)

The Mississippian period lasted from AD 1000 to AD 1550. It is divided into three different subperiods, Early (AD 1100-1200), Middle (AD 1200-1375), and Late (AD 1375-1550). Mississippian life, in general, is characterized by a ranked society, large villages located on floodplains near major rivers, a subsistence base centered on maize agriculture, as well as the use of triangular-shaped projectile points in hunting and new forms and decorative motifs on pottery for cooking and storage. One of the biggest developments in the Mississippian period revolves around house architecture and construction practices. After AD 1200, house design shifts away from rectangular shapes, wall trench construction, and bent pole roofing to square structures with rounded corners, single-set post walls, interior supports, and gabled roofs. My research focuses on these changes in houses during the Middle Mississippian period and how they compare and contrast with those found at both large and small sites. It focuses not only on how they were constructed, but also where they are constructed, perceived differences in summer and winter houses, and what features were found in and around them. My study will examine a single house that has been recently excavated at the small village known as the Cummings site to those houses found at Etowah. Etowah is a large regional center located only three kilometers (or two miles) to the southeast of Cummings. Both sites have a well-documented Middle Mississippian component which will allow for a fine-grained analysis of house types situated within the Etowah River Valley.

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Home Sweet Home: An Architectural Analysis of Houses During the Middle Mississippian Period in the Etowah River Valley

The Mississippian period lasted from AD 1000 to AD 1550. It is divided into three different subperiods, Early (AD 1100-1200), Middle (AD 1200-1375), and Late (AD 1375-1550). Mississippian life, in general, is characterized by a ranked society, large villages located on floodplains near major rivers, a subsistence base centered on maize agriculture, as well as the use of triangular-shaped projectile points in hunting and new forms and decorative motifs on pottery for cooking and storage. One of the biggest developments in the Mississippian period revolves around house architecture and construction practices. After AD 1200, house design shifts away from rectangular shapes, wall trench construction, and bent pole roofing to square structures with rounded corners, single-set post walls, interior supports, and gabled roofs. My research focuses on these changes in houses during the Middle Mississippian period and how they compare and contrast with those found at both large and small sites. It focuses not only on how they were constructed, but also where they are constructed, perceived differences in summer and winter houses, and what features were found in and around them. My study will examine a single house that has been recently excavated at the small village known as the Cummings site to those houses found at Etowah. Etowah is a large regional center located only three kilometers (or two miles) to the southeast of Cummings. Both sites have a well-documented Middle Mississippian component which will allow for a fine-grained analysis of house types situated within the Etowah River Valley.