A New Deal for Southeastern Archaeology by Edwin A. Lyon

By Edwin A. Lyon

Recipient of the 1994 Anne B. and James B. McMillan Prize

This accomplished research presents a background of latest Deal archaeology within the Southeast within the Nineteen Thirties and early Nineteen Forties and makes a speciality of the initiatives of the Federal Emergency aid management, the Civil Works management, the Works growth management, the Tennessee Valley Authority, the nationwide Park carrier, and the Smithsonian Institution.

using basic resources together with correspondence and unpublished experiences, Lyon demonstrates the good value of the recent Deal tasks within the background of southeastern and North American archaeology. New Deal archaeology reworked the perform of archaeology within the Southeast and created the foundation for the self-discipline that exists at the present time. With the present emphasis on curation and repatriation, archaeologists and historians will locate this quantity priceless in reconstructing the background of the initiatives that generated the various collections that now fill our museums.

 

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He knew that "a culture area after all is an arbitrary and artificial device whereby a certain region characterized by distinctive traits is set apart for purposes of consideration. "95 He noted that William Henry Holmes had classified pottery in the eastern United States into five major areas at the beginning of the century but much more information available allowed Stirling to recognize thirteen archaeological areas in the South. Similarities between areas allowed him to identify general distributions of traits such as mounds, copper, ear plugs, discoidal stones, shell gorgets, tobacco pipes, and pottery.

They gathered worked stone and broken artifacts from a quarry and workshop. They excavated the mound by "slicing," uncovering three levels of occupation. Workmen dug with shovels but "at the first indication of anything of interest-a bone, artifact, ash-layer, or post-mold," Webb and Funkhouser took over. They carefully plotted the postmolds. Webb and Funkhouser thought the mound and cemetery were related to the Gordon and Fewkes sites in Tennessee excavated by Myer. 72 After a visit to the Page site in the summer of 1928, Webb and Funkhouser excavated there in the summer of 1929.

He observed stratification of middens and saw change in pottery from undecorated in lower levels through incised and stamped decoration to more sophisticated pottery with handles in upper levels. In Mississippi, Calvin S. 60 In Arkansas, Samuel C. Dellinger of the University of Arkansas began collecting artifacts in the 1920S. 61 Archaeology in Alabama before 1933 included work by the Alabama Anthropological Society and the Alabama Museum of Natural History. The anthropological society, organized in 1909, worked toward identification of all archaeological sites in the state.

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