Sherds from a very unusual Ramey Incised jar featuring what may be a motif from the earlier Late Woodland period. This jar provides an important data point for our field supervisor, Christina Friberg who is comparing Ramey pots from Cahokia and the Central Illinois River Valley (CIRV). Her preliminary research has shown that Ramey Incised pot designs in the CIRV differ from those in the American Bottom where such pots were first manufactured. CIRV potters appear to have been putting their own localized spin on this decorated Cahokian vessel class.
This three year project will explore the catastrophic and wide-ranging consequences of war on Mississippian period (A.D. 1100-1425) communities in the Central Illinois River Valley (CIRV). Archaeological data linking escalating violence with both population nucleation and declining health in the Central Illinois River Valley from A.D. 1200 to 1425 reveal that the causal dimensions of warfare were not restricted to political centralization and collapse but reshaped other, more mundane aspects of life. Determining the impacts of this violence on the Mississippian groups subject to these hostilities will help explain the historical trajectory of conflict culminating in the abandonment of the region around A.D. 1425
A geophysical survey, combined with three seasons of excavation targeting residential groups at the Eveland site adjacent to the Dickson Mounds Museum will identify subsistence practices and household/community organizational patterns that predate the period of escalating violence in this region. Laboratory analysis of collections from a previously excavated site (Orendorf) that post-dates the increase in violent attacks will also be conducted, enabling the documentation of domestic changes occurring as a result of the intensification of warfare. Project goals include determining (1) if and how people altered their subsistence pursuits in response to the increased risk of attack while foraging, fishing, and farming, and (2) if and how people altered the size and arrangement of their households and communities as a result of nucleation into fortified villages