Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Identifier

440

Date

2011

Date of Award

11-27-2011

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Major

Earth Sciences

Concentration

Archaeology

Committee Chair

Andrew M. Mickelson

Committee Member

David H. Dye

Committee Member

Robert P. Connolly

Abstract

The settlement patterns of small, Early Mississippian sites located in upland locations of the Mid-South remain poorly understood despite decades of research in the area. A multi-stage research design was implemented to determine the settlement system used in the region by applying multiple discovery methods to study the Ames Mound Complex (40FY7), an Early Mississippian site in Western Tennessee that has been considered a vacant ceremonial center since its discovery. Ames underwent surface collection, shovel testing, magnetometry survey and excavation to determine if the site was indeed a vacant center, or if it contained a habitation area associated with the mounds. Analyzing the combined results in a GIS revealed that despite extremely low artifact densities, a substantial habitation component comprised of 18-24 structures surrounding a plaza and encompassed by a palisade was located adjacent to the mounds. The results refute the vacant center hypothesis and have far-reaching implications for other unobtrusive Mississippian mound centers in the region classified as vacant centers.

Comments

Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.

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