Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



Major Professor

Lynne P. Sullivan

Committee Members

Gerald F. Schroedl, Charles H. Faulkner


The DeArmond mound (40RE12) was initially excavated by WPA investigator John Alden and crew between February 1940 and March 1941 before being inundated by the Watts Bar dam in January of 1942. The site included a pyramidal earthen mound with an adjacent village. The mound was excavated in stratigraphic levels, with cultural material separated by building stages.

The ceramic collection from this excavation is used in a study of Mississippian temporal and spatial variation within the eastern Tennessee Valley. The collection is comprised of 22,826 pottery sherds and an additional 22 partial, reconstructed, or whole vessels. Morphological and stylistic analyses of these sherds are combined with mound substructure architecture, and grave associations to delimit the cultural sequence of the mound. Morphological attributes were used in an intra-regional comparison of coeval Mississippian sites from the Chickamauga Basin to elucidate possible spatial variations in ceramic morphology.

Early Mississippian Hiwassee Island Phase traits characterize the lower mound levels (H through E), while Dallas Phase cultural traits are found in the upper levels (C through A). Based on these characteristics, the DeArmond mound is a multi-component Mississippian site. Intra-regional comparisons with the Hiwassee Island (40MG31), Hixon (40HA3), and Dallas (40HA1) sites in the Chickamauga Basin display similarities between the ceramic assemblages. Differences between the Chickamauga Basin sites and DeArmond are found in ceramic surface decoration, mound architecture, and grave associations.

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