During the exploration into the history of the Mississippian and the Oneota people, various archeological approaches are utilized. With the discovery of the Morton Village site, questions are immediately raised regarding the migration of the Oneota people and the collision of two traditions: the Oneota and Mississippian.
The exploration of the Morton Village site is an attempt to better understand the cultures of Oneota and Mississippian people and how these distinct groups interacted with one another. Following the cultural history approach, archeologists are answering the questions of who lived at the site, what is the site comprised of, where is it located, and when was in inhabited. These facts, as well as many more, are prioritized under this approach. The Morton Village site was occupied by predominately Oneota and Mississippian people, made evident by the artifacts and lay-out of the area. Excavation of the site reveals that both groups of people constructed their houses by building wall posts that began below the ground, as opposed to on top. The only difference between the construction of the two types of homes is the spacing of the wall posts. Because of the ability of archeologists to determine which type of home belonged to which group, they have know that 10 of the structures uncovered are Oneota and four are Mississippian. The homes at the Morton site were aligned in a row with a large sized plaza. Numerous artifacts typical to both groups were uncovered, such as plates, jars and figurines.
The processual approach in the case of the Morton Village site is what I find most interesting. The history of the collision of these two distinct groups of people is not fully understood yet and the questions asked under this approach lead archeologists to better understand how and why certain events occurred there and at that particular time. One point of interest in this case is the uncovering of a small ceramic figure that resembles an owl. The artifact resembles creations from the Mississippian people, yet was found among pieces of an Oneota jar. Under the processual approach, archeologists are prompted to ask how the infusion of cultures occurred, and why certain aspects of the Mississippian culture may have been adopted by the Oneota people, and why others were not.
I would be interested to find out more about the violence that took place towards many Oneota people during that time, and if that can be solely attributed to the Mississippian people. Through the excavation of the Morton Village site, these questions, as well as numerous others, are on the way to being answered.