Date of Award

Spring 5-2014

Degree Type

Honors College Thesis


Anthropology and Sociology

First Advisor

Edwin Jackson

Advisor Department

Anthropology and Sociology


The Winterville archeological site (22WS500) is a Mississippian-era chiefdom that flourished as a political center. Excavations at the site have unearthed ritual artifacts, deliberate burning, and feasting pits that hint at social stratification and other relationships present during the site’s occupation. This project analyzed 432 ceramic rim sherds from three separate contexts at the site— Area A, Mound C, and the area between Mounds B and C— and used vessel morphology, orifice diameter, decoration, and tempering to find evidence related to the occurrence of ritual feasting events and other food sharing activities as well as document changes in vessel prominence through time. I conclude that Mound C shows evidence of elite food serving events; Area A displays a wide variety of vessel sizes and an even number of serving/cooking to storage/cooking vessels, which hints at a more common residential lifestyle, but also exhibits patterns that hint at other diverse activities, such as feasting and ritual by another segment of society, as well as a fluctuation in use over time.


Honors College Award: Top Thesis