Thesis or dissertation
Date of this Version
Dr. Megan C. Kassabaum
zooarchaeology, archaeology, southeastern, Mississippi, foodways
This thesis presents the data and interpretation of a faunal assemblage excavated from a midden in the Northeast Plaza of the Smith Creek site, a Native American mound site in Wilkinson County, Mississippi. Previous analysis of the faunal material from a flank midden on Mound A at the site revealed various taxa present at the site and led to a discussion of whether Smith Creek hosted large-scale feasting or elite provisioning activities. The analysis presented here focuses on comparing the Northeast Plaza and Mound A faunal assemblages in order to gather more information about Smith Creek’s usage of animal resources as a whole. Comparisons between the two contexts focus on characteristics such as taxa abundance, heat-alteration, and element completeness. In addition, the differences between taxa lists allow for a more thorough understanding of which animals were being consumed at the site, and the potential reasons for their presence in the various middens. A reexamination of both the feasting and provisioning hypotheses concludes that the data from the Northeast Plaza continue to support the provisioning hypothesis suggested by the analysis of the Mound A materials. The addition of data from the Northeast Plaza to the overall Smith Creek faunal assemblage situates Smith Creek as an important site in both the Lower Mississippi Valley and the greater Southeast region. By combining both mound and plaza contexts, Smith Creek can be broadly compared to sites that were occupied during the same cultural periods. Further analysis of faunal material from other parts of the site is a logical next step for faunal research at Smith Creek.
Date Posted: 22 June 2020