Frontier Networks Archaeological Project - Culture Contact in Mississippian west-Central Illinois


For thousands of years, demographic upheaval and migration have led to social settings where distinct human populations coexist. Communities pursue various types of interaction in these multiethnic contexts, ranging from the maintenance of ethnic distinctions through social and political pluralism to the adoption of traits as part of processes of ethnogenesis. This project seeks to examine changes in networks of social interaction, identity, and exchange following a migration process in a peripheral border zone. In particular, the proposed research addresses the role of ceramic industry in the transformation of interaction and identification networks across the Middle to Late Mississippian transition in the Late Prehistoric central Illinois River valley (ca. A.D. 1200-1450). The integration of three different networks constructed from various relational approaches to ceramic industry examines how a circa 1300 A.D. in-migration of an Oneota tribal group restructured social relationships in a Mississippian chiefly environment and how communities of agents negotiated multiethnic regional cohabitation. Minimally destructive analysis of vessels using laser ablation inductively couple plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) will aid in modeling chemical compositional source group networks. A database of stylistic decorations will elucidate models of categorical identification networks. Technological characterization data related to vessel form will reveal interaction network models through historical relations of descent. Taken together, these networks create a multiple relations network, or multiplex network, to demonstrate the role of ceramic industry networks as proxy indicators of how both indigenous and migrant peoples approach interethnic social and economic relations.

Cite this Record

Frontier Networks Archaeological Project - Culture Contact in Mississippian west-Central Illinois. ( tDAR id: 447475) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8447475


Temporal Coverage

Calendar Date: 1200 to 1450 (A.D.)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -90.759; min lat: 39.856 ; max long: -89.486; max lat: 40.755 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Andrew Upton; Jodie O'Gorman

Source Collections

Michigan State University

Upper Mississippi Valley Archaeological Research Foundation

Illinois State Archaeological Survey

Western Illinois Archaeological Research Center

Illinois State Museum - Dickson Mounds

No resources have been associated with this project.