Project Title

Mississippian Lithics: Identifying Workshops in the Etowah River Valley.

Academic department under which the project should be listed

RCHSS - Geography & Anthropology

Faculty Sponsor Name

Dr. Powis

Abstract (300 words maximum)

Household Versus Workshop: Lithic Analysis of a Middle Mississippian Site

The Mississippian Period refers to the North American Southeast region and ranges from AD 1000-1500. The Mississippian Period is characterized by its societal organization, form of government, culture, and subsistence practices. Daily life and survival for prehistoric Native Americans at this time was dependent on stone, and as such a wide variety of lithic artifacts appear in the archaeological record. The Mississippian period also had its own network of lithic trade. This network lent itself to the creation of workshops and specialists (both full-time and part-time) who produced tools for a wide range of activities at different sites across the Southeast. Workshops are loosely defined as locations with a significant amount of debitage. Workshops vary in size depending on the relative size of the settlement their associated with, as such, each possible workshop must be viewed with the full context of the settlement they are near. A major settlement such as Etowah may have a workshop with thousands and thousands of pieces of debitage, while smaller settlements that consisted of fewer people may only have had a little over a thousand pieces for example. The lithics from the Cummings site, a Mississippian period site located in Bartow County, will be evaluated with the aforementioned factors that contribute towards the identification of a workshop. This research looks to identify the presence of a workshop at Cummings and, in the absence of one, to determine the nature and extent of lithic production.

Disciplines

Archaeological Anthropology

Project Type

Poster

How will this be presented?

Yes, in person

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Mississippian Lithics: Identifying Workshops in the Etowah River Valley.

Household Versus Workshop: Lithic Analysis of a Middle Mississippian Site

The Mississippian Period refers to the North American Southeast region and ranges from AD 1000-1500. The Mississippian Period is characterized by its societal organization, form of government, culture, and subsistence practices. Daily life and survival for prehistoric Native Americans at this time was dependent on stone, and as such a wide variety of lithic artifacts appear in the archaeological record. The Mississippian period also had its own network of lithic trade. This network lent itself to the creation of workshops and specialists (both full-time and part-time) who produced tools for a wide range of activities at different sites across the Southeast. Workshops are loosely defined as locations with a significant amount of debitage. Workshops vary in size depending on the relative size of the settlement their associated with, as such, each possible workshop must be viewed with the full context of the settlement they are near. A major settlement such as Etowah may have a workshop with thousands and thousands of pieces of debitage, while smaller settlements that consisted of fewer people may only have had a little over a thousand pieces for example. The lithics from the Cummings site, a Mississippian period site located in Bartow County, will be evaluated with the aforementioned factors that contribute towards the identification of a workshop. This research looks to identify the presence of a workshop at Cummings and, in the absence of one, to determine the nature and extent of lithic production.

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