Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Nancy M. White


archaeology, artifact collections, burial mound, Mississippian Period, WPA


This project reexamines field notes and artifacts from a Works Progress Administration excavation of the Picnic Mound (8Hi3), a Safety Harbor-period burial mound located in Hillsborough County, Florida. The goals are to reconstruct burial practices digitally using a Geographic Information Systems approach to test Ripley Bullen's model of Woodland and Safety Harbor burial practices, and demonstrate ways that modern technologies can be used to provide new information from past investigations. This thesis also presents new information from a pXRF study about prehistoric ceramic manufacturing in the Tampa Bay area, and discusses additional archaeological resources associated with the Picnic Mound. This thesis also illustrates new ways that archaeological materials can be analyzed and exhibited using three-dimensional laser scanning.

Results from the GIS modeling show that burial practices were varied, and cannot be used to assign temporal placement to burial mounds within the Safety Harbor period, as proposed by Bullen. This research illustrates the value of returning to extant archaeological collections and field notes to test models of past human lifeways in a manner that is non-destructive. Information derived from the technologies used for my research can be shared digitally among researchers and can be used to develop materials for public education and furthers additional research efforts.