2006 Philadelphia Annual Meeting (22–25 October 2006)

Paper No. 1
Presentation Time: 1:30 PM


STAFFORD, C. Russell, Geography, Geology, and Anthropology, Indiana State Univ, Terre Haute, IN 47809, MUNSON, Cheryl Ann, Anthropology, Indiana University, Archaeology, Rm. 190, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47408 and MCCULLOUGH, Robert G., Anthropology, Indiana University Purdue University Ft Wayne, 2101 E. Coliseum Blvd, Fort Wayne, 46805, anstff@isugw.indstate.edu

The Prather (12Cl4) site is a Mississippian mound center located in the uplands of the central Ohio River valley, Clark County, Indiana. The site consists of four mounds surrounding a central plaza with an associated residential area. Geoarchaeological investigations were undertaken that focused on the Southwest Mound. The major goals were to: 1) study the degree of landscape modification, 2) examine the mound's structure, 3) determine the textural and geochemical properties of the deposits, and 4) obtain datable organic remains. A series of 14 solid cores were extracted with a Giddings Probe to provide a cross-section of the mound fill. The mound was under cultivation for more than 150 years, and today it is a subtle feature that is only 25 to 50 cm higher than the surrounding natural landscape. Examination of the cores and limited test excavation profiles, however, indicated that there are two distinctive anthropogenically enriched (based on phosphorus, soil organic matter, and carbonates) cultural fills as much as 85 cm thick containing Mississippian artifacts and other trash that overly loess and residuum deposits. Comparison of an off-mound core with the mound cores indicate that the A and AB horizons had been stripped before the mound fills were deposited. A series of structures built on the mound may account for the Lower Mound fill that makes up the core of the feature. AMS dates from a core and post in a nearby excavation unit indicate that the mound was used during the period cal AD 1000-1180 (2 sigma).