Alumni & Friends of Archaeology Research Award

Jeff Painter in an archaeology lab studying ancient pottery
Jeff Painter collecting pottery metrics in the MSU archaeology lab

The Alumni and Friends of Archaeology Expendable Fund, established to enhance research and learning of undergraduate and graduate students in the archaeology program through the MSU Department of Anthropology, awarded Jeff Painter funds for his dissertation research during the Summer of 2018. This was the second year for the Alumni and Friends of Archaeology Research Enhancement Award and Jeff was able to complete two trips to the Dickson Mounds Museum in west-central Illinois in order to gather data for his dissertation.

Mr. Painter’s proposed dissertation seeks to better understand the role of cooking and foodways within social interaction by examining vessel use-wear and the distribution of vessels, cooking techniques, and cooking-related features across the site of Morton Village in central Illinois, a site of known prehistoric interaction between different cultural groups, the Larson site in central Illinois and the Tremaine Complex in western Wisconsin. By using the comparative sites, he hopes to document the traditions of cooking and foodways a local Mississippian group and an Oneota group outside the area of interaction.

The allocated funds helped Jeff to defray the cost of gas, food, and necessary supplies to travel to The Dickson Mounds Museum (DMM), which houses the Larson site materials. On Mr. Painter’s first trip to the museum, he examined ceramics for use-wear and also collected morphological measurements. On the subsequent trip, he collaborated with Alan Harn, the site director of the 1970 Larson excavations, and obtained digital copies of excavation maps from the 1966 and 1970 excavations.

Jeff is still in the process of data collection and has yet to start analyzing this data. Mr. Painter wanted to stress that the support provided by the Alumni and Friends of Archaeology Research Enhancement Award has been essential in continuing work on his proposed dissertation research.

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