Midden Muddle

Author(s): S. Andrew Wise

Year: 2017


Archaeologists occasionally find inconstant artifact assemblages between sites that appear similar. These variations in artifact frequency and diversity can hinder efforts to establish a one-to-one correlation between artifacts and cultural behaviors. However, coastal shell middens can provide important information regarding past habitation and social organization. By using shell and artifact distribution data, this research examines how Woodland cultures utilized coastal sites between 1000 B.C. to A.D. 1000. A comparative analysis of multiple midden assemblages from the Georgia and South Carolina coast demonstrates that there is considerable divergence at the inter-assemblage level. Close attention was paid to significant artifact patterns in the hopes of confirming a standard midden typology. Priority was given to the presence of burials and features due to their strong association with human activity and social organization. While ultimately sites are variable and cannot be forced into sterile categories, archaeologists can look at all measured variables to identify unique and helpful patterns

Cite this Record

Midden Muddle. S. Andrew Wise. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 428807)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections


Coastal MIdden Woodland

Geographic Keywords
North America - Southeast

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 14694