The Morton project perfectly explained that the modern archaeologists are conducting the research from several theoretical perspectives. All of the three approaches mentioned in the lecture, culture history, processual, and contextual or post-processual, was applying in the Morton project.
First of all, cultural history would examine the records and narrative descriptions of past matter, encompassing the continuum of events pertaining to a culture. In the Morton project, evidence of both the Mississippians and the Oneota was found and suggested that both of them inhabited this land at some time. Archaeologists could identify those artifacts with some unique marks, their shapes and formation. And for architecture, the building style could also distinguish the Mississippians and the Oneota.
Secondly, regarding to the processual perspective, archaeologists believe that they can understand past cultural systems through the remains they left behind, usually with strong evidence. In the Morton project, archaeologists found that, although each culture of the Mississippians and the Oneota used to have its own features of creating and decorating pottery, nevertheless, after a period, the Oneota tend to have similar dressing with the Mississippian pottery.
Thirdly, it is about the contextual or post-processual perspective. From my perspective, the post-processual perspective serves as an addition to the processual perspective and add the subjectivity of archaeological interpretations towards completely objective conclusions from processual perspective. In the Morton project, it was shown on the issue of Norris Farm Cemetery. There was not an explanation about the cause of violence which technologically supported by evidence, but we could have reasonable suspects on this issue. And I think this is the most interesting question in this lecture. There must be some reason for those violence trace, and it is highly possible related with the mixture of the Mississippians and the Oneota as well as the following departure of the Oneota. Did all of the Oneota abandon the Morton village? or some of them might mix together with the Mississippians and leave little evidence of their own habit? It is always interesting to have space for imagine possible situation.
Another interesting thing is the archaeology approaches themselves, by looking at the same artifacts or remains of the site, archaeologists could draw different, but complementary conclusion. For example, based on the transformation of drawing on the pottery, archaeologists could not only identify each cultures’ artifacts with cultural history, but also speculate the convergence and separation of these two cultures with processual and post-processual perspective.