Graduation Year

2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.A.

Degree Granting Department

Anthropology

Major Professor

Thomas J. Pluckhahn

Keywords

Archaeology, Ceramics, Standardization, Three-Dimensional Laser Scanner, Weeden Island, Woodland Period

Abstract

Investigating the organization of production systems can reveal much about a society, in particular how resources and labor were allocated, and the influence that economic, political, social, and ceremonial institutions had on the production process. Interpreting the nature of specialized production is useful for understanding how production was organized. In turn, the degree of standardization exhibited by the goods being produced is used to determine the nature of specialization. While archaeological research regarding specialized production has expanded over time to incorporate a wide range of societies, such research is often focused on complex societies. The research presented here focuses on the small-scale, or non-stratified, community that once inhabited the Kolomoki site, a Middle to Late Woodland period site in Early county, Georgia. This thesis utilizes a three-dimensional laser scanner to document Weeden Island pottery from Kolomoki. The digital images created by the scanner were used to measure incising and punctation marks. The measurements were then analyzed in order to determine the extent of standardization among the decorative attributes. Results suggest that standardization varies among different subsamples of pottery. However, the overall degree of standardization is relatively low, thus suggesting that specialized production may not have existed, or was very limited, at Kolomoki. Despite the limited extent of standardization among the decorative attributes, the results of this research, especially in conjunction with previous research, suggest that some pottery may have been afforded special attention during the production process. In particular, pottery from mound proveniences, and socially valued goods, notably sacred and prestige items, demonstrate higher degrees of standardization. This leads to the conclusion that the production of Weeden Island pottery was likely influenced by ritual and ceremonial activity within the Kolomoki community. This thesis contributes to a greater understanding of specialization in non-stratified Woodland period societies in the southeastern United States.

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