The Morton Village Project is an ongoing project located in west central Illinois. The site has evidence of both Mississippian and Oneota groups inhabiting the site.
The Cultural History Approach to archaeology largely sees the focus directed at the who, what, when and where of the people and obtaining a chronology of the past. It views culture as having shared ideas and traits. There are things that are normative, such as pottery. As the reading’s example suggests, there are only so many ways to go about making pottery. As seen at Morton Village, both the Mississippian and the Oneota used pottery. However, both had their own cultural distinctions evident in both the construction and the decoration of the pots and jars. Because there is evidence that the two were present (perhaps simultaneously) on the site, an interesting cultural change takes place. You can see some of the Oneota pottery morph in to a merged design. Specifically, with some plates that were found where the larger design normally seen within the Mississippian plate design was then decorated in a typically Oneota design.
The Processual Approach to archaeology leans the focus to how and why events occurred. The approach digs deeper than just identifying the people and seeks to know how they lived culturally both at one time and through time. The Morton Village project is looking at the remains found at the cemetery and is looking to why there is such an increase in violent deaths. Bigger questions emerge from that as well. If the two were living together, were they violent between each other or did other stressors cause “in fighting”? It’s an interesting question to be asking.
As I am just getting acquainted with the Morton Village, I am wondering why the Oneota migrated there in the first place? Was there a particular event, or was it just curiosity? The question I find the most interesting is whether the Oneota simply took over an abandoned Mississippian site? Even the morphing of the pottery of the Oneota could have happened because they were using the abandoned pottery on the site. The reading suggests a quizzical find with a typically Mississippian ceramic figurine found with a broken Oneota jar. That could also be the result of picking up interesting finds on the abandoned site and then it ends up mixed in everyday things. These are the questions I find most interesting within archaeology.