W2 Reflection Post

The Morton Village site gives a good template for discussing the different theoretical perspectives that influence archaeological research. The first of these approaches would be culture history. This can be see in the way in which the Oneota and Mississippians are categorized in order to evaluate where on the site(s) each specific culture may have been located. The archaeologists due this by categorizing the artifacts that they find such as pottery and ceramics. How these artifacts are decorated and the different ways that they are shaped and formed can help identify the culture that made them seeing as unique people/cultures are going to have their own specific way of making things. There are other traits that can be used as well. One of the other main ones used to distinguish Oneota and Mississippians is architecture style. Additionally, the test excavations that were performed in 2008, as well as the geophysical surveys conducted, helped to form a map that would define the area and what part of the site was used.

The processual perspective seems to be where the site is mostly at today. Research that is done with this perspective is based in the idea that you should test competing hypotheses until you are able to refine your model into one that fits with all the known data. The current goal of determining the limits and spatial arrangement of the sites is being tested using this idea. Subsequently, tests about village life and violence at Morton Village are also be conducted in the processual perspective manner.

In my opinion, there isn’t much sign of a post-processual approach being taken currently at the site, but one aspect of this type of research that I did notice involved the idea of needing multiple interpretations of the archaeological record in order to have a greater understanding of the meaning of the record. In lecture 2.3, it was stated that the working hypothesis is that the occupation of the village were sequential, but that a different reading of archaeological record leads them to believe that this isn’t the case, but instead both groups did in fact live at the site at the same time.

The thing that interests me the most about this site is the idea that there were houses in which Oneota and Mississippians lived together. I know that this was just mentioned briefly in passing, and that there wasn’t a whole lot of evidence supporting this idea, but I am certainly fascinated by it. It’s very easy to just ask the question of why, but I also am interested in what sort of relationship this may have been? Was it an equal relationship, or were one of them potentially captured/enslaved? What remains specifically were found to support this idea? If there were artifacts such as pottery, could they have potentially just been stolen?

3 thoughts on “W2 Reflection Post

  1. I like that you pointed out the architectural style of the buildings to distinguish who had lived in this village. I thought it was interesting that the Oneota and Mississippians could have lived together. One thought I had after the video is what if one tribe came in after the other, or drove out the other, and used the remnant foundations and buildings to complete their own structures without having to restart completely. One contextual, or post-processual, thought I had regarding this village is how did these two tribes become one at this site if they were at the same time and what had to be done in order for one another to adjust to different cultures and customs.

  2. I love your possible hypotheses about the relationship between those who lived in the same houses but this statement assumes that they lived in the same houses. Although this is possible, the texts and readings never explicitly said that this was the case. They merely have found evidence of remains from both Mississippian and Oneota cultures in the same houses. This mixture of remains could have been from a Mississippian house that was invaded and converted to an Oneota house. But again this is also a hypothesis. I also can see how you find it hard to find evidence of contextual archaeology because I believe this is the hardest kind of archaeology to spot because of its nature. Contextual archaeology takes an insider’s view on the archaeological record which causes it to be difficult to spot.

  3. Scott, good discussion about the approaches used at Morton Village. I should note, excavations have occurred at the site every summer since 2008, so we have a lot more information than before. I will also be studying household structure at the site, and your questions about the cohabitation of houses is one that I am interested in!

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