Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

2017

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

M.A. in Anthropology

Department

Sociology and Anthropology

First Advisor

Edmond A. Boudreaux III

Second Advisor

Robbie Ethridge

Third Advisor

Maureen Meyers

Relational Format

dissertation/thesis

Abstract

The goal of this project is to compare the spatial distribution of sites across Clay, Lowndes, and Oktibbeha counties between the Mississippi and Early Historic periods using site files from the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. Using Geographic Information Systems (GIS), sites were mapped chronologically to examine change through time to investigate how people reacted to European contact and colonization. Site locations and clusters also were used to evaluate possible locations of the polities of Chicaza, Chakchiuma, and Alimamu discussed in the De Soto chronicles. Sites in Clay, Lowndes, and Oktibbeha counties were chosen due to the existence of the large cluster of sites around Starkville, and because these counties have been proposed as the locations of Chicaza, Chakchiuma, and Alimamu (Atkinson 1987a; Hudson 1993). The distribution of settlement clusters indicated possible locations for polities similar to those proposed by Atkinson (1987a:65). Based on the robust data, informed by work done by David Hally, three clusters and three potential polities have been located in northeast Mississippi. The most robust of these clusters is likely the location of the polity of Chicaza. This thesis serves as a means to direct future research in the area for both archaeological and ethnohistoric work.

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