Date of Graduation

Fall 2017


Master of Science in Applied Anthropology


Sociology and Anthropology

Committee Chair

Elizabeth Sobel


Mississippian, hinterlands, households, lithics, production, consumption

Subject Categories

Archaeological Anthropology


Mississippian archaeology is characterized by a longstanding bias towards studying large, mound-bearing sites as opposed to small hinterland sites. Although this bias has diminished in recent decades, research on hinterland sites is still relatively uncommon. This study helps correct that bias through an analysis of flaked stone technological organization at South-Cape (23CG8), a Mississippian hinterland site in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. A sample of flaked stone artifacts from two house features at the site was analyzed. The results indicate that residents at South Cape generally acquired and consumed higher quantities of local lithic raw material than of supra-local lithic raw material. The results also suggest that flaked stone tool production was a regular component of household economies in this community. Variation between house features implies that at least in some cases, different households had measurably different tool stone acquisition strategies; this in turn suggests that there was meaningful variation among households in their roles in local and supra-local socioeconomic systems. More specifically, when referencing House 1 as a special use structure linked with women’s activities, these differences may indicate gender bias in archaeological expectations regarding “special” places. These findings help show the research value of studying Mississippian hinterland sites in their own right, as well as in relation to the larger mound-bearing sites on traditionally emphasized in Mississippian archaeology.


© Deseray L. Helton

Open Access