Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



Major Professor

Gerald F. Schroedl

Committee Members



Description and analysis of over 67,000 European artifacts and aboriginally modified European artifacts from Chota-Tanasee (40MR2-40MR62) provides a basis for future studies of similar European artifacts from Overhill Cherokee sites in the Little Tennessee Valley.

Dated European artifacts provided a means to construct a chronology of features and burials. Only 40 of 1086 features and two of 114 burials were dated to one of four periods of European economic and political influence. Thirty features and one burial date to the Colonial period corroborating accounts of Chota-Tanasee's size and importance during the mid-18th century. Too few features and burials date to the Contact, Revolutionary of Federal periods making meaningful comparison of the period inventories impossible. The chronology must be expanded in include data from other Overhill Cherokee sites.

Acquisition and use of European artifacts was considered within European functional contexts. Dense space and association analyses failed to demonstrate 18th-century European contexts for European artifacts at Chota-Tanasee. This suggests that features do not reflect activity areas or that mid-18th century Cherokee culture had not yet adopted such contexts. The difference of artifact distributions of features associated with eight house units showed no pattern regarding the use or acquisition of European artifacts. Burials associated with these houses indicate that 89 percent of individuals aged 12 years and younger have grave goods while only 33 percent of individuals 13 and older have grave goods. Similar European goods tend to occur with the burials within each house.

Comparing the Chota-Tanasee European artifacts inventory to those of 18th century European frontier sites reveals little similarity. Developing and Aboriginal Frontier Artifact Pattern would permit the comparison of contact Indian sites as well as their comparison with 18th century European frontier sites.

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