Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Earth Sciences

Committee Chair

David H. Dye

Committee Member

Dorian J. Burnette

Committee Member

Suzanne L. Onstine

Committee Member

Esra Ozdenerol


Three hundred and seventy sets of Late Archaic remains from Mulberry Creek, Perry, Flint River, Cox Mound, and Cox Village in the Middle Tennessee Valley are examined for trophy taking. The research was conducted to determine if trophy taking varies across the valley, who the victims are, what the frequencies of the types of trophies are, and how trophy taking manifest in the bioarchaeological record.Trophy taking varies across the valley, with higher levels in the west end of the valley. Trophy taking was seen in all age groups, and in both males and females. Sixty of these individuals had 94 instances of negative trophy taking for an average of 1.6 trophies per person. Seventeen individuals had 34 instances of positive trophy taking for an average of 2.0 trophies per person. Trophy taking occurs most frequently as single instances, but the removal of multiple trophies from a body also occurs. Adults, sub-adults, and children all show evidence of trophy taking, with frequencies ranging from 14.81 to 17.64 percent. There are twice as many males with trophy taking (19.78%) as females (10.74%). Lower limbs are removed more frequently than upper limbs, and right side removal is also more frequent. In the bioarchaeological record trophy taking is observed in four ways: first, as victims exhibiting only negative trophy taking; second, as victims with positive trophy taking only; third, as burials with both negative and positive trophy taking; and fourth, as "unassociated" limb and trophy element burials.The victims of trophy taking and the types and percentages of trophies removed from those victims suggest that, during the Late Archaic, this activity is associated with small-scale, high-intensity feuding, which provided individuals with opportunities to inflict mutilations upon their enemies as well as enhance personal prestige.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

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