Archeology of the funeral mound, Ocmulgee National Monument, by Charles Fairbanks, Frank M. Setzler, Mark Williams

By Charles Fairbanks, Frank M. Setzler, Mark Williams

A Dan Josselyn Memorial Publication

A most advantageous mound web site bargains a wealth of basic info on mortuary practices within the Mississippian Period.

the most important prehistoric mound web site in Georgia is found in modern day Macon and is called Ocmulgee. It was once first recorded in August 1739 by way of normal James Oglethorpe’s rangers in the course of an excursion to the territory of the reduce Creeks. The botanist William Bartram wrote largely of the ecology of the realm in the course of his stopover at in 1773, however the 1873 quantity through Charles C. Jones, Antiquities of the Southern Indians, rather of the Georgia Tribes, was once the 1st to regard the archaeological value of the site.

Professional excavations all started at Ocmulgee in 1933 less than the auspices of the Smithsonian establishment, utilizing Civil Works management exertions. Investigations persevered lower than numerous sponsorships till December 1936, while the locality was once officially named a countrywide monument. Excavation of the mounds, village websites, earth resort, and funeral mound printed an career of the Macon Plateau spanning greater than 7,000 years. The funeral mound used to be came across to comprise log tombs, bundles of disarticulated bones, flexed burials, and cremations. Grave items incorporated uniquely patterned copper sunlight disks that have been chanced on at just one different website within the Southeast—the Bessemer website in Alabama—so the 2 ceremonial facilities have been validated as contemporaries.

In this vintage paintings of archaeological study and research, Charles Fairbanks has not just provided an entire remedy of the cultural improvement and lifeways of the developers of Ocmulgee yet has additionally comparable them successfully to different identified cultures of the prehistoric Southeast.

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Extra resources for Archeology of the funeral mound, Ocmulgee National Monument, Georgia

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Immediately to the south is the restored earthlodge (Fairbanks, 1946, pp. 94-108). Directly east of the Cornfield Mound the plateau slopes gently down to a small creek or spring run . At the present time this creek has water only in wet periods but it is probable that it had a fairly constant flow under PLATE 8. forest conditions. On the western slope of this creek, 1,000 feet south of the Cornfield Mound is the small Southeast Mound. This was not described by Jones and is quite insignificant. At present it is oval, about 20 feet by 15 feet, domed, and 3 feet high.

It is possible that a single continuing population is involved with local differences and probably minor additions. But there does seem to be something of a continuity from Mossy Oak times through Napier. The Macon Plateau people, howe ve r, are a new element and introduce Mississippian traits as well as full agriculture. Lamar represents a return to the Southeastern stamping tradition and possibly a mingling of Macon Plateau peoples with the older inhabitants. Linguistically, Lamar was Muskogean.

Likewise, the historic Creek indications around Mound C represent only a portion of the total historic occupation. Again, types were determined on the basis of the complete historic evidence and not just on the artifacts recovered from Mound C. It is regrettable that the field notes did not contain a horizontal record of structures on the flat summits of the several mound stages. It is certain from notes that post molds did appear on these flat summits. Unfortunately, the post molds mentioned do not appear on the plats and are usually mentioned in passing without their horizontal locations being given.

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