Date of Award

Spring 5-11-2018

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Anthropology and Sociology

Committee Chair

Dr. Edwin H. Jackson

Committee Chair Department

Anthropology and Sociology

Committee Member 2

Dr. Marie Danforth

Committee Member 2 Department

Anthropology and Sociology

Committee Member 3

Dr. Bridget Hayden

Committee Member 3 Department

Anthropology and Sociology

Abstract

Magee is a multi-mound center located in the Southern Yazoo Basin of the Lower Mississippi River Valley (LMV). Originally recorded by Phillip Phillips, James A. Ford, and James B. Griffin in 1941, the site has not been professionally investigated since then (Phillips, Ford, and Griffin: 1951). Based on their surface collection and presence of one large mound surrounded by smaller mounds, their interpretation of the site was that it served as a large ceremonial center for a short period of time, and was utilized primarily for religious purposes (Phillips et al. 2003 [1951]:325-327). Phillip Phillips (1970) dates the site within the Late Mississippian period (A.D 1200-1500), and more specifically to what is now understood to be the Lake George phase (A.D 1350-1500) based on diagnostic artifacts. In the winter of 2015, the site was revisitied and a controlled surface collection was performed by Nicholas Glass, University of Southern Mississippi.

This thesis intends to verify that initial interpretations of the site by Phillips (1970), and Phillips, Ford, and Griffin (1951) were accurate by way of controlled surface collection, type-variety ceramic analysis, and spatial distribution of artifacts. The results of ceramic analysis provides evidence that Magee is likely at the peak of its population during the Lake George phase, ca. A.D. 1400, as there were more sherds recovered that date to that phase than preceding phases. Spatial distributions of artifacts point to areas of the site that were perhaps densely occupied, but overall artifact densities on the surface are low for a Mississippian period mound center. While the site may not be vacant as originally suggested, it also does not appear to have been home to a significant resident population.

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