Date of Award

Fall 2017

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Anthropology and Sociology

Committee Chair

Homer E. Jackson

Committee Chair Department

Anthropology and Sociology

Committee Member 2

Marie Danforth

Committee Member 2 Department

Anthropology and Sociology

Committee Member 3

Bridget Hayden

Committee Member 3 Department

Anthropology and Sociology


The Winterville Mounds site (22WS500) was a civic ceremonial center of 23 mounds and is located near Greenville in northwest Mississippi. Winterville excavations as field schools are ongoing since 2005 under the direction of Dr. H. Edwin Jackson of The University of Southern Mississippi. Examination of the >1/4" (6.35 mm) mesh screened lithic material provided mixed results of reduction stages and lacked variety of non-local materials (Guest 2006, Winter 2009, McClendon 2012). Authors of these analyses called for the examination of the 1/16” (1.58 mm) water-screened lithic material to identify reduction stages and traces of non-local materials to provide evidence of outside trade. I analyzed the microdebitage from the non-elite residential location of Area A and the elite locale of Mound C to discern variations in accessibility to non-local lithic material to provide conclusive evidence of the sociopolitical organization once managed by Winterville’s elite. The microdebitage analysis validates previous interpretations that Winterville was managed via a corporate sociopolitical scheme, as there is no evidence that elites acquired sumptuary items for display. A wide variety of raw materials were uncovered, with few specimens represented for each variety. The microdebitage is likely the result of the re-sharpening and re-shaping of complete stone tools that were brought onto and eventually left the site. Radiocarbon dates along with artifactual evidence provides for an occupation of Mound C well into the Lake George phase, previously characterized as a time of occupational decline and eventual site abandonment (Brain 1989).