The Role of Public Space in Identity Making at Morton Village (11F2)


The circa 1300 AD Morton Village site in west-central Illinois lies at the intersection of Mississippian and Oneota worlds. High levels of violence and social stress witnessed in the site’s nearby Norris Farms #36 cemetery suggests that regional social interaction was marred by internecine conflict and raiding. The multi-ethnic nature of cohabitation at the site, on the other hand, suggests that ritual and cultural convention were creatively modified to reflect a new multi-cultural reality. This is reflected in novel uses of public space and unique public structure architecture. Morton Village lacks the typical public buildings and spaces seen in Mississippian contexts elsewhere such as a plaza, large chiefly structure, or rectangular council house. It is instead marked by a large, repeatedly rebuilt circular wall trench structure, a large single post public structure, and an open village layout. The novelty of these publics spaces and structures will be contextualized via comparisons to similar spaces and structures at two other Late Prehistoric sites in west-central Illinois: Crable and Orendorf.

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Cite this Record

The Role of Public Space in Identity Making at Morton Village (11F2). Andrew Upton, Jodie O'Gorman, Michael Conner, Terrance Martin. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 397238)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -104.634; min lat: 36.739 ; max long: -80.64; max lat: 49.153 ;