An Early Mississippian settlement history of Ocmulgee
Bigman, Daniel Philip
MetadataShow full item record
The goal of this research is to construct a settlement history of Ocmulgee National Monument during the Early Mississippian (ca. A.D 900-1200) and infer changing patterns of social inequality and power relationships. To address the research problem I surveyed over 15 ha of Ocmulgee with multiple non-invasive geophysical prospection techniques including. This work was supplemented with 30 posthole tests in a forested area. I analyzed ceramics from previous investigations to refine the site chronology and plotted the distribution of diagnostic indicators to assess settlement size. I argue that Ocmulgee began as a small site on the southern portion of the main bluff and expanded north over time to accommodate increasing settlement population, with little space between household groups. Outlying bluffs became inhabited later in the sequence and likely coincided with population reduction on the main bluff. Open space separated neighborhoods on each bluff. My results suggest Ocmulgee was occupied longer than previously believed, and contained a complicated social landscape where social inequality and political dominance evolved over time.