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A Tale of Two Houses: Soil Chemical and Floor Assemblage Evidence of Domestic Activities at the Menoken Site, North Dakota

Author(s): Christopher Roos ; Kacy Hollenback ; Andrew Quicksall ; Fern Swenson ; Mary Hagen

Year: 2015

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Although they are often used by archaeologists to identify activity patterns within domestic spaces, floor assemblages are influenced by a variety of cultural and natural formation processes, especially those related to abandonment. By contrast, soil chemical traces are thought to be less vulnerable to alteration by subsequent activity and, therefore, are treated as primary residue of activities in their original location. Although the formation histories of these two types of evidence differ, the integration of these independent data sets improves our ability to generate holistic inferences about the structure, use, and perception of domestic space. Here we compare geoarchaeological and floor assemblage data to identity and map traces of domestic behavior through the life histories of two Late Woodland period (ca. AD 1200) lodges at Menoken Village (32BL2) in central North Dakota. Excavations by Stanley Ahler in 1997-1999 and 2005 reveal that the two structures have markedly different styles of architecture despite a similar oval-shape, size, and penecontemporaneity of occupation. We integrate the two lines of evidence to compare the patterns of use and abandonment of these domestic structures to evaluate whether or not the uses of these spaces were comparable despite the architectural variation.

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A Tale of Two Houses: Soil Chemical and Floor Assemblage Evidence of Domestic Activities at the Menoken Site, North Dakota. Kacy Hollenback, Christopher Roos, Fern Swenson, Andrew Quicksall, Mary Hagen. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 397277)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -113.95; min lat: 30.751 ; max long: -97.163; max lat: 48.865 ;

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America