King: The Social Archaeology of a Late Mississippian Town in Northwestern Georgia

King: The Social Archaeology of a Late Mississippian Town in Northwestern Georgia

King: The Social Archaeology of a Late Mississippian Town in Northwestern Georgia

King: The Social Archaeology of a Late Mississippian Town in Northwestern Georgia

Excerpt

When I began analyzing the archaeological material from the King site more than 10 years ago, I was concerned that I would not find enough new and interesting things to say about the site to merit publication as a book. I needn't have worried. At every step in the analysis, as I dug deeper into the architectural and mortuary evidence from the site, I found patterns and relationships in the data that I had not anticipated and that suggested new lines of inquiry. I began my research with the spatial clusters of postholes and features that represent domestic structures and found that I could identify individual construction stages and describe their architectural characteristics with some accuracy. This led to, among other things, the recognition that domestic structures varied greatly in size and that size related systematically to a number of other architectural variables. Hypatia Kelly pursued some of these relationships and found that structure size varied directly with number of construction stages and number of subfloor burials and with structure location within the habitation zone. These insights led to the identification of household architectural complexes, which in turn permitted comparison between households along a number of dimensions. Further investigation eventually led to the discovery that much of the variability in domestic structures was related to the life history of the King site community and the polity to which it belonged. Analysis of the site's public architecture and human burials followed similar paths of discovery and evolving research focus.

My goal in writing this book was to reconstruct as fully as possible the nature of the King site community and to place that community in its larger re-

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