Date of Award

5-2014

Degree Type

Honors College Thesis

Department

Anthropology and Sociology; Philosophy and Religion

First Advisor

H. Edwin Jackson, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Daniel Capper, Ph.D.

Advisor Department

Anthropology and Sociology; Philosophy and Religion

Abstract

The Winterville Archaeological Site (22WS500), located near Greenville, Mississippi, served as a ceremonial center during the Mississippian Period (approximately 1000-1500 AD). Originally consisting of twenty-three or more mounds, Winterville was a significant social and religious gathering place and was home to the elite classes of the society. This study analyses microartifacts from two locations on the site, leading to comparisons and conclusions of the types of religious activities occurring at each. Mound C was home to an elite group while Mound B likely served as a temple or religiously significant mound. The findings indicate that elites and elite mounds played a special religious role in Winterville society and were more accessible to the masses than Mound B may have been. The study explores the role that elites may have taken in Mississippian religious practices by drawing comparisons with ethnographic research from other Native American groups.