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!