Master of Science
David H Dye
ABSTRACT: Despite being one of the most intensively-studied culture phenomena of precontact North America, Hopewell peoples and their communities remain largely enigmatic outside of ceremonial earthwork sites. This research aims to examine Ohio Hopewell community by proxy of the large cache of chert bifaces disinterred from Mound 2, located at the Hopewell Mound Group (33RO27) in Ross County, Ohio. Numbering approximately 8,600 bifaces, these artifacts exhibit broadly similar macroscopic traits, and have been attributed in past archaeological literature as coming from a single source in Indiana. This research hypothesizes that this attribution is erroneous, and that the interaction of geographically disparate Hopewell communities is visible here as a function of differential contributions of chert material that was locally available to them. Furthermore, it is hypothesized that if this locally-sourced chert was knapped into bifaces prior to deposition into Mound 2, that differences in gross form may represent individual communities practicing similar knapping techniques. These hypotheses are tested by subjecting a 172 member sample of the Mound 2 cache to VNIR/FTIR spectroscopy chert sourcing techniques coupled with linear morphometrics, agglomerative hierarchical clustering, and fuzzy k-means clustering. The results conclude that the 172 member sample group Mound 2 bifacial population is comprised of a variety of chert lithic materials that exhibit affinity to chert reference material obtained from multiple geographically distant chert sources within the Midwest and South. Their physical forms show broad differences in trends in biface manufacture between groups of artifacts sharing chert sources, suggesting multiple Hopewell communities gathering to participate in the construction of Mound 2.
Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to ProQuest
Rowe, Brian, "Sourcing the Sacred: Application of Reflectance Spectroscopy and Linear Morphometrics to Hopewell Mortuary Chert Discs" (2022). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 3168.