Date of Award

5-2014

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Anthropology and Sociology

Committee Chair

Edwin Jackson

Committee Chair Department

Anthropology and Sociology

Committee Member 2

Jeffrey Kaufmann

Committee Member 2 Department

Anthropology and Sociology

Committee Member 3

Marie Elaine Danforth

Committee Member 3 Department

Anthropology and Sociology

Abstract

This study analyzes ceramic assemblages with radio carbon dates produced from three archaeological sites, 22JA564, 22JA575, and 22JA633, with a view to determine the types and varieties of containers brought to and used at each site. The study area is located in the extreme eastern end of the Mississippi Sound in Jackson County, Mississippi. Methods employed in this research evaluate five variables: orifice diameter, vessel wall thickness, decoration, temper, and vessel shape. These variables were selected in order to determine the mechanical performance characteristics, as well as the formal and functional aspects of pottery assembled in this study. Determining form and function of recovered ceramics illuminates differences in site activity between each site and between periods. By correlating the results from the faunal analysis with ceramic analysis settlement patterns, subsistence patterns and a chronology of site use are constructed. This research evaluates prehistoric use of the Grand Bay estuary and documents how use of the estuary changed through time.

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