W2 Reflection Post

Morton project is working on culture history approach through excavating a lot of artifacts such as houses, pottery, ceramics, pits, etc. They are really interested on investigating how the culture changed from Mississippian to Oneota sequentially, or if there is any evidence can be found on co-habitation of some form at one time. They want to have a better understanding on how both of these traditions affect one another, and if there is any level of integration can be identified. In my opinion, this is how they approach the cultural history by gathering information on relationship of Mississippian and Oneota components like houses construction, grave goods, craft design, etc.
In the perspective of processual archaeology, it is also being used in a way that they embraces scientific methods such as ground-penetrating radar and magnetometer survey. This way, they also study cultural adaptation to environmental change, like cultural ecology and multilinear evolution ideas. Thus, their focus is more on the ‘processes’, like how they are trying to correlate between Oneota migration and violence level from skeletal analysis found in Norris Farm 36. This finding could give us some sort of supporting arguments on how it might have some conflict between Oneota and Mississippian tradition.
I found most interesting with the culture history approach because it focuses on how the culture changes over time (diachronic) rather than synchronic. In order to achieve this, they excavate different geographical sites, compared their archaeological findings and try to correlate artifacts with similar styles. In terms of Morton project, I think excavations have been done in a quite extensive area, where they found Norris Farm 36 which is in the southern part of Morton village and they found the largest Oneota skeleton population. I think this method will give us more information on historical development over a long time period rather than just focusing on one specific event in a specific time period. It is just my own preference to get a broad ideas on transformation of culture rather than specific cultural processes.
Other question that I would be interested to know about is experimental archaeology, like would it be possible for us to reconstruct replication and experimentation such as houses reconstruction, wall post, and other artifacts they have found so far? I think it would be beneficial for us to gain insight on how people in the past behaved and from there we can construct a model of past cultures and behaviors.

3 thoughts on “W2 Reflection Post

  1. The archaeology at the Morton Village Project is very interesting. I notice that many questions came up for you. It seems you can learn more and more about the people through their ‘garbage’ but more questions will come up. I think I also enjoyed getting a broader idea of a cultures entire history. I liked your idea of experimental archaeology. I think that is a underutilized tool in the archaeology world. Something like a reconstruction of the different construction styles could provide some additional insight into the differences between the two cultures. I like when they integrate new technologies into archaeology, like the ground-penetrating radar and the magnetometer survey.

  2. Coming into this week’s prompt, I had no previous knowledge of the Oneota or Mississippian people. Now I find myself wanting to be updated and discover more about these people and the connection they once had to one another. The artifacts uncovered at the Morton Village site only incite greater curiosity in me. Additionally, and not-surprisingly, the findings at the Norris Farm 36 cemetery are of great interest. The violent deaths of more than 40% of the Oneota people buried there leads archaeologists to ask the question of why. There is the possibility of the violence having been at the hand of the Mississippian people, but there is not sufficient evidence to empirically say so. I am curious how those violent deaths came to take place, and I also would like to see if it is a possibility in the future to reconstruct the previous living situations in Morton Village.

  3. Pamela, great discussion about the different approaches used to study Morton Village. About your question on experimental archaeology, it is possible to build a structure like the ones lived in at the site and learn more about the two cultures, in fact, an undergraduate researcher will be constructing one this summer to try to learn more about the Oneota and Mississippian peoples.

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