Occupation spans of small late prehistoric sites in the American Bottom of southwestern Illinois are estimated through consideration of the formation of ceramic refuse. Archaeological and ethnographic data inform a model which takes the form of both a computer simulation and a quantitative transform. Critical variables include a behavioral assemblage, a disposal assemblage, vessel use life, and breakage and replacement rates. A number of factors may have influenced settlement duration, but a preliminary examination does not reveal a significant correlation between environmental features and occupation span. The relation of these lower-order settlements to higher-order centers in the American Bottom settlement hierarchy may not have necessitated maximizing the economic potential of a given rural catchment.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)