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THE KING GEORGE ISLAND MOUNDS SITE

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THE KING GEORGE ISLAND MOUNDS SITE (16LV22): A LATE ARCHAIC MOUND COMPLEX ALONG THE LOWER AMITE RIVER A Thesis Submitted to the Graduate Faculty of the Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in The Department of Geography and Anthropology By Fiona Helena Vasbinder B.A. University of California, Davis, 2000 May 2005ii ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I wish to extend thanks, first of all, to Dr. Rebecca Saunders for her professional direction and guidance during fieldwork, artifact analysis, and writing of this thesis. I would also like to express my gratitude towards the other committee members, Dr. Heather McKillop and Dr. Rob Mann, for their helpful suggestions and comments throughout this project. I am also grateful to Richard Weinstein for giving me the idea to research mounds on the Lower Amite River. I would like to thank the landowners, the Cruesel family, for allowing us to conduct archaeological investigations on their property and to the Indian Mound Hunting Club members for letting us borrow their equipment, and navigating us through the swamp. This thesis would not have been possible without the considerable help from the various field crew volunteers from the Geography and Anthropology department at Louisiana State University, Louisiana Archaeology Society, Regional Archaeologist Dr. Rob Mann, who loaned and operated the laser transit equipment, and Dr. Chip McGimsey of the University of Louisiana in Lafayette, both of whose expertise was vastly appreciated. I am grateful to those who traveled from afar to join us, especially Dr. Joe Saunders, for the loan of coring and augering equipment as well as his knowledge and experience in excavating Archaic mound sites. Special appreciation goes out to the archaeologists at Coastal Environments, Inc., for their opinions, equipment, and library, the LSU Geology Department, particularly Dr. Brooks Ellwood, for his opinions on lithic raw material, and to Kitty Roberts for her analysis ofiiithe botanical remains. Also to be mentioned is Dr. Wayne Hudnall, from the Agronomy Department at LSU, for providing the necessary soil analysis. Special thanks to the Louisiana Archaeology Conservancy, LSU Museum of Natural Science, and Regional Archaeology Program of the State of Louisiana Division of Archaeology for providing funding for lab tests and radiocarbon dates. I would especially like to express my gratitude towards my parents and family for their loving support and patience. Lastly, the bulk of my appreciation goes to my husband Kevin, for his constant encouragement, dedicated fieldwork, and tireless editing.iv TABLE OF CONTENTS ACKNOWLEDGMENTS .................................................................................................. ii LIST OF TABLES............................................................................................................. vi LIST OF FIGURES ......................................................................................................... viii ABSTRACT.........................................................................................................................x CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION.....................................................................................................1 2 PREVIOUS RESEARCH..........................................................................................4 Middle and Late Archaic Period Mound Construction ..........................................6 3 PHYSICAL SETTING..............................................................................................8 Holocene Environmental Setting............................................................................9 King George Island Environmental Setting .........................................................14 Discussion ............................................................................................................15 4 CULTURAL SETTING ..........................................................................................19 Paleoindian Stage (ca.12,000-7000 B.C.) ............................................................18 Archaic Period (7000-1050 B.C.).........................................................................21 Poverty Point Culture (ca.1300-1050 B.C.) .........................................................23 Late Archaic Phases along the Amite River and Lake Pontchartrain Area .....25 Amite River Phase ........................................................................................26 Lake Pontchartrain Area ...............................................................................26 Tchula Period (800 B.C.-100 B.C.)......................................................................27 Tchefuncte Sites along the Lower Amite River...............................................31 Marksville Period (100 B.C.-A.D. 400) ...............................................................31 Marksville Phases along the Lower Amite River and Lake Pontchartrain Area ..........................................................................................................................33 Baytown Period (A.D. 400-700) ..........................................................................34 Troyville Phases along the Lower Amite River...............................................36 Coles Creek Period (A.D. 700-1200) ...................................................................36 Coles Creek Phases along the Lower Amite River..........................................38 Plaquemine/Mississippi Period (A.D. 1200-1700)...............................................39 Plaquemine and Mississippian Phases along the Lower Amite River.............41 Early Colonial Period along the Lower Amite River ...........................................42 5 FIELD INVESTIGATIONS....................................................................................44 Field Methods.......................................................................................................44v Mapping.............................................................................................................45 Shovel Tests ......................................................................................................47 Shovel Test


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