Friday, May 29, 2015

Into the Field: The Smith Creek Archaeological Project

Mound A, one of three earthen mounds at Smith Creek. Image Courtesy of Megan Kassabaum and the Penn Museum Blog.
Mound A, one of three earthen mounds at Smith Creek.
Image Courtesy of Megan Kassabaum and the Penn Museum Blog.
Tom Stanly, of the Penn Museum Blog, has written two detailed articles about the Penn Museum's archaeological excavations at the Smith Creek Site along the eastern banks of the Mississippi River. The site, including three earthen mounds, flourished from 700 to 1200 CE, and the continuing excavations hope to knowledge of site use patterns (what kinds of activities were done at the site and where in the site these activities were primarily located). The site is now on private property, and as such has not been examined in detail; unlike Cahokia, another Mississippian mound site which is a state historic site and under UNESCO World Heritage protection.

May, 13, 2015.
" The main goals of the project will be to survey the landscape to gain a broad view of the site overall and determine just how much of the site was modified by its ancient designers; and to excavate at various points across the site with the intention of uncovering artifacts like ceramics, lithics, and plant and animal remains that may represent evidence of ancient food consumption, and unique features that can speak to a very big, underlying question: why was this mound center created in the first place?"

To read the full articleclick here.

May, 20, 2015.
" The pattern that these sites follow, called the Coles Creek pattern, stands in contrast to some other, later and better-known mound sites in the Americas, such as Cahokia where a chief lived on top of the biggest mound and looked down on the people over whom he held power. At Coles Creek sites, there is little evidence that any one person held political rule over any other portion of the population."

To read the full articleclick here.

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