Geoarchaeology of an eroded Mississippian mound
Bartley, Heather Diana
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The Belmont Neck site (38KE6) is a small, early Mississippian period platform mound and village site in the Wateree Valley, Kershaw County, South Carolina. The objectives were the following: (1) to determine geomorphology in the study area; (2) to determine the sources of mound fills; and (3) to determine the nature and extent of site formation processes. The objectives were carried out with methodology involving geomorphology, pedology, stratigraphy, and soil micromorphology. Results include the following. Micromorphology can be quite successful for detecting redistributed material from a destroyed mound or other earthwork, and the resulting data is useful for finding the maximum original possible size of a mound. The mound’s maximum original height was 2 m high. The existence of a thin redistributed mound layer, at least 49 m in diameter, was confirmed with micromorphology. The main cause of erosion/destruction/height reduction of the mound is interpreted to be tillage erosion.