A preliminary consideration of craft production and settlement expansion on Ossabaw Island, Georgia, USA

Carey J. Garland, Brandon T. Ritchison, Bryan Tucker, Victor D. Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This report presents findings from recent systematic surveys and excavations at the site of Finley’s Pond (9CH204) to evaluate craft production (e.g., shell beads) and settlement expansion on Ossabaw Island, Georgia, within the context of larger social, political, and economic changes that occurred along the Georgia coast over the last millennia. Shovel tests and excavation units were conducted at Finley’s Pond as part of the University of Georgia’s 2016 Field School. The spatial distribution and density of Woodland and Late Mississippian period Irene ceramics at Finley’s Pond suggests settlement expansion and an increase in population size during the Mississippian period. The presence of beads in various forms of production, as well as raw materials and tools, such as whelk shells, abraders, and a microdrill, support the interpretation that Finley’s Pond was a location of craft production, specifically shell beads. These data suggest that the economic pursuits of Indigenous communities on the Georgia Coast was far more varied than archaeologists once thought. Our report underscores the need for further research into how non-subsistence based economic pursuits articulated with the timing of settlement expansion and the shift from foraging to farming along the Georgia Coast.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)350-367
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Island and Coastal Archaeology
Volume18
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2023

Keywords

  • Georgia Coast
  • Settlement expansion
  • Shell bead production

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Archaeology
  • Ecology
  • History
  • Archaeology

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