Native Communities after Contact in the Blackland Prairie of Northeast Mississippi

Author(s): Edmond Boudreaux; Brad Lieb; Stephen Harris

Year: 2019


This is an abstract from the "SAA 2019: General Sessions" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

Hernando de Soto and his army spent the winter of 1540-41 in the Blackland Prairie region of Northeast Mississippi, wintering in a significant settlement of the native polity of Chicasa. The Spanish noted two other polities known as Saquechuma and Alimamu in the area. A high density of Late Mississippian through Early Contact period sites in the Blackland Prairie may correspond to these native polities, but the area appears to have been abandoned by the late seventeenth century. Little is known about what happened to native peoples in the Blackland Prairie during the decades after their contact with Soto. In this paper, we report on recent work at the Stark Farm site, located in Oktibbeha County. This work is the result of a collaboration between Chickasaw Nation which is native to this area, and several universities in the Southeast. The results of metal detecting, magnetic gradiometry, shovel testing, and excavations indicate that Stark Farm is a dispersed settlement of widely scattered households that date to the fifteenth through early seventeenth centuries. These investigations suggest significant continuity in native lifeways in the first generations after contact.

Cite this Record

Native Communities after Contact in the Blackland Prairie of Northeast Mississippi. Edmond Boudreaux, Brad Lieb, Stephen Harris. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 449441)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -93.735; min lat: 24.847 ; max long: -73.389; max lat: 39.572 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 26057