Mississippian Mortuary Practices: Beyond Hierarchy and the Representationist Perspective

By Lynne P. Sullivan; Robert C. Mainfort Jr. | Go to book overview

5
Social and Spatial Dimensions
of Moundville Mortuary Practices

GREGORY D. WILSON, VINCAS P. STEPONAITIS, AND KEITH P. JACOBI

Moundville has an impressive mortuary data set with a long history of related investigations. Previous mortuary studies, however, have not focused on individual burial clusters as socially and spatially relevant units of analysis. Here we address this issue by documenting and interpreting the size, arrangement, and composition of selected Mississippian cemeteries at Moundville. These cemeteries were uncovered during the 1939 and 1940 excavations of the Moundville Roadway. Our analysis reveals that these cemeteries exhibit considerable internal variation in terms of age, sex, and mortuary treatment. Based on their composition, small size, strategic location, and duration, we argue that small corporate kin groups used these cemeteries to assert social and spatial claims within the Moundville polity.

Archaeological investigations have revealed that Mississippian mortuary practices were not uniform across the southeastern and midwestern United States (Brown 2006b; Conrad 1993; Emerson, Hargrave, and Hedman 2003; Goldstein 1980; Fisher-Carroll and Mainfort 2000; Peebles 1974; Sullivan and Rodning 2001). It has been clearly demonstrated that the intricacies of mortuary ritual varied along the dimensions of social status, gender, age, and regional tradition. This variability has often been used to draw conclusions about the social identity of the deceased (e.g., Binford 1971; Goldstein 1980; Peebles and Kus 1977; Saxe 1970). Scholars have only recently begun to investigate Mississippian mortuaries as important sites for the living as well as the dead. Central to this perspective is the point that mortuary ritualism commonly embodies socially relevant statements and negotiations that mourners and other surviving community members make about the current and future state of affairs (e.g., Kuijt 2000; Metcalf and Huntington 1991; Parker Pearson 1999). Accordingly, the archaeological signatures of mortuary practices not only reflect the status of the deceased but were also shaped by the social aspirations of the living (see Brown 1995; Marcoux, this volume).

-74-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Mississippian Mortuary Practices: Beyond Hierarchy and the Representationist Perspective
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 350

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.