Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



Major Professor

Lynne P. Sullivan

Committee Members

David G. Anderson, Gerald F. Schroedl


The Upper Hampton Farm site (40RH41) is located in the Watts Bar Reservoir in East Tennessee. The site was excavated under the Works Progress Administration between 1940 and 1941 and the collections are currently curated in the Frank H. McClung Museum in Knoxville, Tennessee. Based on the excavation notes and artifact analysis, a complex culture history emerged at Upper Hampton Farm, which culminated in a land modification project to conceal a Late Woodland Hamilton burial mound by a Late Mississippian Period population. The goal of this thesis is to examine and explain the complex archaeological record of Upper Hampton Farm and add to our understanding of Native American life ways in East Tennessee.

In order to examine the cultural history of Upper Hampton Farm three main goals are outlined in this thesis. First, since the Upper Hampton Farm site has never formally been reported on, this thesis provides the first comprehensive report on the site. Secondly, to explain the land modification of the mound a social memory model has been employed to show a break in the social memory between the Woodland and Mississippian Periods. Lastly, an analysis was conducted on the ceramics uncovered from the village components. The results of this analysis are used to establish the cultural phases present in the archaeological record and provide supporting evidence for the social memory model.

Based on the analysis of the extant collections, from Upper Hampton Farm the archaeological record shows a continuous habitation of the land from the Archaic Period up to the Contact Period. In addition, XRF testing of European trade beads and artifact analyses show a possible occupation of the site into the seventeenth century. It is during the Late Mississippian Period occupation that the archaeological record is most complex. The village shows evidence of both Dallas and Mouse Creek Phase characteristics within in the same level. This mingling of traditions may suggest an amalgamated society made up of different groups of people coming together on the landscape and possibly coexisting into the Contact Period.

Appendix I_CeramicData.xls (2501 kB)
Ceramic Data

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