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Community and Ritual Within the Mississippian Center at Town Creek

  • Edmond A. Boudreaux (a1)
Abstract
Abstract

This article evaluates aspects of an occupational history that was developed for the Town Creek site, a small Mississippian center in the North Carolina Piedmont that was occupied sometime between A.D. 1150–1400. Town Creek’s occupational history suggests that its Mississippian community consisted of multiple, discrete household groups, and that these groups were important throughout the center’s existence. Analyses of architectural, mortuary, and ceramic data indicate that Town Creek began as a town with a substantial domestic population, but it evolved into more of a vacant center later in time. This decline in domestic population coincided with significant evidence for site-wide ritual activity that included the construetion of a platform mound and the use of cemeteries in former house locations. Parallels between the small center at Town Creek and some of the largest Mississippian centers, especially the persistence of household-group spaces and an emphasis on ritual activities later in time, suggest that interaction among discrete social groups within a ritual context was a salient part of being Mississippian.

Resumen

Este artículo evalúa los aspectos de historia ocupacional que fue desarollada para el sitio llamado Town Creek, un pequeño centro de Mississippi localizado en el Piedmont de Carolina del Norte que estaba ocupado entre los años 1150–1400 d. C. La historia ocupacional de Town Creek sugiere que su comunidad indígena del grupo llamado Mississippi consisto de varios grupos y los hor gares separados, y estos grupos fueron muy importantes en toda de la existencia del centro. Los análisis de los datos arquitectónicos, funerarias, y cerámicas indican que Town Creek comenzó como un pueblo con una población interna substancial, este se convertió en más de un centro vacio posterior después en el tiempo. Este descenso de la población local coincidió con evidencia significativa para la actividades rituales en todo el sitio, que incluyó la construcción de un montículo de la plataforma y el uso de los cementerios en los lugares de las casas anteriores. Los paralelismos entre el centro pequeño. Town Creek, con algunos de los centros más grandes del Mississippi, especialmente por la persistencia de los espacios grupales de hogares y un énfasis en las actividades rituales más tarde en el tiempo, sugieren que las interacciones entre grupos sociales discretas en un contexto ritual fue una parte sobresaliente de ser Mississippian.

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American Antiquity
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