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Title:The Mississippian Occupation of The Upper Kaskaskia Valley: Problems in Culture History and Economic Organization (Illinois, Ceramics)
Author(s):Moffat, Charles Richard
Department / Program:Anthropology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Anthropology, Archaeology
Abstract:Excavations at the Doctor's Island Site and the Stop Sign Site, two Mississippian village sites located in the upper Kaskaskia River valley in central Illinois, resulted in the discovery of more than 50 cultural features. Radiocarbon dates from the two sites indicated that the Stop Sign Site was primarily an 11th century occupation, while the features investigated at the Doctor's Island Site dated to the late 12th century and the 13th century. A Mississippian occupation in the upper Kaskaskia valley lasting from A.D. 1000 to after A.D. 1400 can now be demonstrated. Analysis of the ceramics recovered from these sites indicated several stylistic changes over time. The most common pottery vessels were plain-surfaced and cord-marked jars, with roughly equal proportions of both vessel types present at all sites. At the Stop Sign Site a number of vessels had Late Woodland attributes and sand was frequently included along with shell as a tempering agent. After about A.D. 1200 shell and grog mixtures and pure shell became the dominant temper varieties and small numbers of filmed and engraved vessels appeared. Filming and engraving were most common on bowls and plates. Lithic collections contained high frequencies of projectile points, end and side scrapers, core scrapers, triangular knives, and hump-backed knives. Characteristic Cahokia lithic artifacts, such as chipped stone hoes, microdrills, and notched projectile points, were rare or absent. Analysis of the faunal remains, floral remains, and studies of site distributions suggested an economic and settlement pattern which differed from the typical Middle Mississippi pattern. Hunting was focused on deer and elk with only minor use of fish and waterfowl. Maize agriculture was practiced at both sites, but no remains of beans or squash were recovered. Gathering seems to have been focused on nuts. Little use was made of starchy seeds. Mississippian campsites were located in the uplands adjacent to the Kaskaskia valley along small tributary streams. These data suggested a settlement pattern similar to that of the historic Illinois tribes, who seasonally abandoned their valley bottom villages in order to hunt and gather in the uplands.
Issue Date:1985
Description:470 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1985.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8521838
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-16
Date Deposited:1985

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