Date of Award

Summer 2023

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Social Science and Global Studies

Committee Chair

Dr. Marie Danforth

Committee Chair School

Social Science and Global Studies

Committee Member 2

Dr. Maria O. Smith

Committee Member 3

Dr. H. Edwin Jackson

Committee Member 3 School

Social Science and Global Studies


Little is known archaeologically about the Late Woodland Schroeder Mounds mortuary group from west-central Illinois. As such, bioarchaeological data is at the forefront of archaeological problem-solving for not only the site, but the geographical area as well. Skeletal data such as proximal femur angles and activity markers contribute to the understanding of subsistence-settlement trends and postural behavior of the mortuary complex. Femoral neck version is associated with postural behaviors such as squatting and kneeling. The neck-shaft angle is linked to mobility and settlement patterns. Bicondylar angle was explored to see if behaviors had any affect. Allen’s fossa and Poirier’s facet are linked to squatting and kneeling behaviors.

The Schroeder Mounds (A.D. 650-960) sample consisted of 27 individuals. The early 1900s sample of Hamann-Todd yielded a sample size of 74. I took various midpoints on the femur and used a goniometer to measure each angle. Activity markers were scored as either present (1) or absent (0). The femoral neck version and neck-shaft angle were statistically significantly higher in Schroeder. Bicondylar angle was within normal range in both groups with no statistical differences. Allen’s fossa frequencies were nearly the same between groups, but Poirier’s facet was nearly double in the pre-contact sample. These results support the idea Schroeder Mounds individuals were habitual squatters/kneelers with a more sedentary lifestyle than expected. Given the geographic location, there was little need to travel long distances for food with the abundance of aquatic resources available. This research presents a new biocultural method for unknown archaeological samples.