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Collections-Based Research at Poverty Point World Heritage Site

Author(s): Diana Greenlee ; Stephanie Perrault

Year: 2016

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Summary

The Poverty Point World Heritage Site is a state-owned and -managed archaeological park in northeastern Louisiana. Named for the nineteenth-century Poverty Point Plantation, the site’s cultural significance derives from its monumental earthen complex constructed 3,700-3,100 BP. The complex includes five mounds; six enormous, concentric, semi-elliptical ridges; and a large interior plaza. A sixth mound was built 1,700-2,000 years after the initial construction. This culturally created landscape, the largest and most elaborate Archaic period settlement in North America, was built by hunter-fisher-gatherers.

The Poverty Point Archaeological Curatorial Facility has an immense collection of artifacts, numbering in the hundreds of thousands, associated with the Late Archaic occupation of the site. The remarkably diverse cultural material available for study includes (but is not limited to) PPOs, decorative earthen objects, figurines, pottery, spear points, microliths, atlatl weights, gorgets, plummets, stone vessels, and beads. Much of the lithic raw material was imported from sources hundreds of miles away. The artifacts are the products of a vast surface collection and numerous excavation units that were placed in the major earthen features across the site. There is an on-site dormitory for researchers and the location is ideal for those who seek a workplace with few distractions.


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Cite this Record

Collections-Based Research at Poverty Point World Heritage Site. Diana Greenlee, Stephanie Perrault. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 402991)


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Spatial Coverage

min long: -91.274; min lat: 24.847 ; max long: -72.642; max lat: 36.386 ;

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