RECREATING COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES AT MOUND HOUSE THROUGH MICROWEAR ANALYSIS
G. Logan Miller
Understanding the Hopewell phenomenon has been of considerable interest for North American archaeologists since early on in the discipline. Various Middle Woodland period (50 BCE-400CE) cultures participated in shared ideas and behaviors, such as constructing mounds and earthworks and importing exotic materials to make objects for ceremony and for interring with the dead. These shared behaviors and ideas are termed by archaeologists as "Hopewell". Considering that Middle Woodland peoples lived in small, dispersed habitations, studying the places where they came together to share ideas and reinforce their shared identity is crucial to understanding the Hopewell phenomenon. The Mound House site is thought to have served as a "ritual aggregation center", a place for the dispersed Hopewell communities to congregate at certain times of year to reinforce their shared identity. Mound House is located in the Lower Illinois River valley within the floodplain of the Illinois River, where there is a concentration of Middle Woodland sites and activity. While archaeologists think that the site served as a place for a regional Hopewell symbolic community to create and maintain their identity, little is known about the actual activities that took place at the site. Use-wear analysis is a tool that archaeologists can use to identify the materials stone tools were used to cut, scrape, drill, etc. Use wear analysis looks at forms of polish on stone tools that are specific to the types of materials that they were used to cut, scrape, etc. This method can help archaeologists understand the activities people were engaging in and what types of objects they were creating. Lamellar blades are a unique and diagnostic formal tool type of the Hopewell and have been demonstrated to been used as a multipurpose tool for a wide range of activities. This purpose of this study is to examine lamellar blades from Mound House using use-wear analysis in order to understand the types of activities people were doing there, and shed light on Hopewell ceremonialism and community practices.
Chapman, Silas, "RECREATING COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES AT MOUND HOUSE THROUGH MICROWEAR ANALYSIS" (2019). University Research Symposium. 253.