Master of Arts (MA)
Geography and Anthropology
During the LSU 2015 Summer Field School at the Byrd Hammock South site (8WA30) in Wakulla County, Florida, excavations uncovered a large stratified pit-fill feature (Length 78 cm x Width 65 cm x Depth 136 cm) associated with the Early Swift Creek culture (A.D. 0 – 500). The Swift Creek have been generally identified as a transegalitarian society, and are believed to have participated in the phenomenon known as the Hopewell Interaction Sphere. The feature, Feature 1 (F1), was located approximately 60 meters south of Burial Mound B on the western edge of a semi-circular midden that surrounded a clean plaza. Profile maps and photographs of F1 showed no evidence of sediment disturbance, such as water marking, suggesting F1 was filled rapidly. Compared to the other units excavated during the Field School, F1 contained the highest quantity of total artifacts, including exotic and rare items such as quartz crystal and mica. The analysis of ceramic designs, faunal materials, and lithic and exotic artifacts, along with evidence of rapid deposition suggests F1 was created during a large-scale feasting event which may have had other events occurring at the same time. Based on the proximity of F1 to Burial Mound B, the overarching event may have been associated with mortuary activities. The feasting activities may have involved inter-local, and possibly extra-local, group interactions at Byrd Hammock South site.
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O'Keefe, Joseph Michael, "Feasting in Florida: Evidence of Swift Creek Ceremonial Feasting and Multi-Group Interactions at Byrd Hammock South (8WA30), Wakulla County, FL" (2017). LSU Master's Theses. 4513.