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 preferable mound web site bargains a wealth of fundamental info on mortuary practices within the Mississippian Period.

the biggest 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 means of basic James Oglethorpe’s rangers in the course of an day trip to the territory of the reduce Creeks. The botanist William Bartram wrote greatly of the ecology of the world in the course of his stopover at in 1773, however the 1873 quantity through Charles C. Jones, Antiquities of the Southern Indians, quite of the Georgia Tribes, was once the 1st to regard the archaeological importance of the site.

Professional excavations started at Ocmulgee in 1933 lower than the auspices of the Smithsonian establishment, utilizing Civil Works management hard work. Investigations persevered below quite a few sponsorships until eventually December 1936, whilst the locality used to be officially named a countrywide monument. Excavation of the mounds, village websites, earth hotel, and funeral mound printed an career of the Macon Plateau spanning greater than 7,000 years. The funeral mound was once came upon to comprise log tombs, bundles of disarticulated bones, flexed burials, and cremations. Grave items incorporated uniquely patterned copper sunlight disks that have been discovered at just one different web site within the Southeast—the Bessemer web site in Alabama—so the 2 ceremonial facilities have been confirmed as contemporaries.

In this vintage paintings of archaeological learn 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 similar them successfully to different recognized 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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The eastern turkey (M eleagris gallopavo silvestris) was probably the most sought after species with the meat in demand for food and the feathers for cloaks. It is possible that the eastern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus virginian us ), the passenge pigeon (Ectopistes migratorius), and the eastern mourning dove (Zenaidura maC/'oura carolinensis) as well as ducks, when migrating, formed elements of the diet. The southern bald eagle (H aliaeetus leucocephalis leucocephalis), the turkey vulture (Cathartes aura septentrionalis) , and the black vulture (Coragyps atratus atratus) were probably sources for feathers for the ubiquitous southeastern fans of ceremonial use.

They both fall just after the general time bracket of Macon Plateau with stylistic grounds as the basis for believing them somewhat later. The Etowah period is derived from the Woodstock with Mississippian elements added; the Kolomoki stems from Swift Creek II plus similar Mississippian elements. ) (see table I). Of course, in many instances there is evidence that the Etowah, Kolomoki, and Savannah complexes had traditions extending back into the previous period. Savannah, however, on present evidence is wholly later.

This site had a pure Mossy Oak pottery level below Lamar and was separated from it by a sterile sand stratum. The pottery is exclusively and heavily sand tempered, simple stamped or plain, and it sometimes has conoidal bases or tetrapodal feet. Some tubular and conical stone pipes are known, as well as rectangular and ovate, two-hole bar gorgets, and heavy stemmed projectile points. The sites seem to be mainly small, and mounds PLATE 3. 10 are not known with any degree of certainty. However, Kelly believes the rock eagle effigy mounds near Eatonton may belong to this complex as may the small rock mounds with depressed centers which extend from the Eatonton area almost to Macon (Kelly, personal communication).

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