Exploring the season of mound building through oxygen isotope geochemistry at the Garden Patch site, Gulf Coast Florida, USA

Isabelle Holland Lulewicz, Neill J. Wallis, Victor D. Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The American Southeast saw the development of large ceremonial village centers, the coalescence of households, and monumental architecture integrated into village layout during the Middle Woodland period (ca. AD 1–600). These shifts toward more sedentary lifeways occurred independently of, and prior to, the domestication of plants across the Southeast. This paper examines the seasonality of monumental construction at the Garden Patch site located on the central Gulf Coast of Florida. This site contains evidence for rapid mound construction that followed a predetermined site plan. Here, we present oxygen isotope analyses of archaeological mollusk shells (Crassostrea virginica) to evaluate the seasonality and periodicity of monument construction. We conclude that mound construction occurred during the cooler months of the year. Ultimately, this contributes to an anthropological understanding of the development of these early ceremonial centers in the Southeast.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16-28
Number of pages13
JournalSoutheastern Archaeology
Volume39
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Florida
  • Woodland period
  • early villages
  • monumentality
  • oxygen isotopes
  • season of shell collection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology

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