W2 Reflection Post

Morton Village is a very intriguing archaeological site. While archaeologists have already been able to uncover a wealth of knowledge from the site, one of the things that makes this site so interesting is the information that has yet to be discovered. For instance, archaeologists have determined that the Mississippians lived in the area from around 1000 AD and the Oneota migrated to the area around 1300 AD. The archaeologists’ efforts to understand the chronology of events in the area draws on cultural history archaeology because one of the overarching goals of cultural history archaeology is to understand when certain events happened.

One of the most interesting discoveries to me, however, was Norris Farms 36. Norris Farms 36 was a cemetery associated with Morton Village. In this cemetery, 264 grave sites were excavated and an analysis of these individuals indicated that they died very violently. Archaeologists have put forth a few hypotheses as to why this may have happened. One such hypothesis was that the Mississippians and the Oneota were fighting each other, while another hypothesis is that the two groups were fighting outside forces or other tribes. The efforts of archaeologists to explain the reasons behind this event and others demonstrates their processual approach. The main goal of processual approaches is to explain why things happened as opposed to cultural archaeology’s concern with when things happened. I would be very interested to discover the real reasons why these people died so violently, ¬†and that discovery could potentially lead to bigger revelations.

Another question that I have about these tribes is why they migrated to the area in the first place and also why they left. The Oneota and Mississippians cohabited the area from 1300 AD when the Oneota migrated in to around 1400 AD when both tribes abandoned the area. It would be interesting to know where these tribes migrated from in the first place and why they left that area. Maybe they depleted their previous sites natural resources, or maybe they were distancing themselves from conflict with other tribes. Next, it would be interesting to know why and how they chose the Central Illinois River Valley as their new home. Perhaps they migrated with no specific destination and settled down where the landscape would allow. And lastly, I would like to know why they left the Central Illinois River Valley and where they went from there. Maybe, once again, they depleted the natural resources, or maybe they left for completely different reasons. With more time and research, these questions will hopefully be answered!

6 thoughts on “W2 Reflection Post

  1. I agree that the most interesting part of the Morton Village archaeological site is that there is still so much to be discovered about the people who lived there in the past. After I read the material about it, I felt like I was left with more questions than answers! I think you did a really good job of tying the different contemporary approaches in archaeology to certain discoveries and questions; it actually helped me understand more about the material just to read your post. I’m also very interested to see what more could be learned in the future about Morton Village.

  2. The Morton Village site is a very important archaeological site. The ongoing project as well as the past research done, have given us with a lot of information. It also tells us how the two communities had different lifestyles. I think the most intriguing question raised was about the violence that happened between the Mississippian and the Oneota people. Norris Farm 36, the cemetery, gives us insights about what sort of conflict arose between the two. But still there are a lot questions which are unanswered. I am also very eager to know the real reason behind this sort of violence.

  3. This site is rather interesting due to the fact that we have no idea what lies ahead. We know that there were two different tribes that lived here that may have been completely different, yet we also have evidence of them crossing over certain traits from each community. Now what my question was, what caused the violence between these two tribes? I believe there were probably struggles between the two and they had disputes, yet there is no certain answer yet. The amazing thing about this site, is that there is still so much to learn and we have so much to figure out about what happened on these grounds.

  4. I definitely agree that there is so much potential knowledge still to be discovered at the Morton Village site, and that is what I find most intriguing. The unanswered questions about the connection between the Oneota people and Mississippian people is enhanced by the information we do already have. These bits of information include the findings of Mississippian-style figurines next to Oneota pottery, and the evidence of violent deaths that the Norris Farms 36 cemetery contains. I too would like to know why both groups left the area, and if it had anything to do with potential fighting and conflict between them.
    Thanks!

  5. I also thought that the Norris Farms 36 findings were extremely interesting. The fact that about half of the bodies suffered from some type of violence was really thought provoking. I find all of the hypotheses that stem from Norris Farms 36 very intriguing and I would love to know the reason for such violence in the area. I also really like your question about why they both abandoned the area. It seems like it would be a pretty nice area to live since there was a water source so close. Hopefully as more research is done the more answers we have to all these questions.

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