Author: Charles Fairbanks
Publisher: University of Alabama Press
Release Date: 2003-03-12
A Dan Josselyn Memorial Publication A premier mound site offers a wealth of primary data on mortuary practices in the Mississippian Period. The largest prehistoric mound site in Georgia is located in modern-day Macon and is known as Ocmulgee. It was first recorded in August 1739 by General James Oglethorpe’s rangers during an expedition to the territory of the Lower Creeks. The botanist William Bartram wrote extensively of the ecology of the area during his visit in 1773, but the 1873 volume by Charles C. Jones, Antiquities of the Southern Indians, Particularly of the Georgia Tribes, was the first to treat the archaeological significance of the site. Professional excavations began at Ocmulgee in 1933 under the auspices of the Smithsonian Institution, using Civil Works Administration labor. Investigations continued under a variety of sponsorships until December 1936, when the locality was formally named a national monument. Excavation of the mounds, village sites, earth lodge, and funeral mound revealed an occupation of the Macon Plateau spanning more than 7,000 years. The funeral mound was found to contain log tombs, bundles of disarticulated bones, flexed burials, and cremations. Grave goods included uniquely patterned copper sun disks that were found at only one other site in the Southeast—the Bessemer site in Alabama—so the two ceremonial centers were established as contemporaries. In this classic work of archaeological research and analysis, Charles Fairbanks has not only offered a full treatment of the cultural development and lifeways of the builders of Ocmulgee but has also related them effectively to other known cultures of the prehistoric Southeast.
Author: David J. Hally
Publisher: University of Georgia Press
Release Date: 2009-11-01
Genre: Social Science
From 1933 to 1941, Macon was the site of the largest archaeological excavation ever undertaken in Georgia and one of the most significant archaeological projects to be initiated by the federal government during the depression. The project was administered by the National Park Service and funded at times by such government programs as the Works Progress Administration, Civilian Conservation Corps, and Civil Works Administration. At its peak in 1955, more than eight hundred laborers were employed in more than a dozen separate excavations of prehistoric mounds and villages. The best-known excavations were conducted at the Macon Plateau site, the area President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed as the Ocmulgee National Monument in 1936. Although a wealth of material was recovered from the site in the 1930s, little provision was made for analyzing and reporting it. Consequently, much information is still unpublished. The sixteen essays in this volume were presented at a symposium to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the Ocmulgee National Monument. The symposium provided archaeologists with an opportunity to update the work begun a half-century before and to bring it into the larger context of southeastern history and general advances in archaeological research and methodology. Among the topics discussed are platform mounds, settlement patterns, agronomic practices, earth lodges, human skeletal remains, Macon Plateau culture origins, relations of site inhabitants with other aboriginal societies and Europeans, and the challenges of administering excavations and park development.
Author: Sarah Tarlow
Publisher: OUP Oxford
Release Date: 2013-06-06
Genre: Social Science
This Handbook reviews the state of mortuary archaeology and its practice with forty-four chapters focusing on the history of the discipline and its current scientific techniques and methods. Written by leading scholars in the field, it derives its examples and case studies from a wide range of time periods and geographical areas.
Author: Lane Anderson Beck
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
Release Date: 2013-11-11
Genre: Social Science
In this volume, archaeologists offer a new direction for burial research by expanding the models for mortuary analysis from a site-specific to a regional level. Contributors explore how regional mortuary approaches allow the introduction of new questions about peer polity interactions and regional alliances-extending traditional settlement system and exchange analyses. This volume features case studies examining mortuary sites as components of the archaeological landscape.