Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



Major Professor

Gerald F. Schroedl

Committee Members

Paul Parmalee, Jefferson Chapman


During the early nineteenth century, Cherokee society rapidly evolved from its traditional state of social and economic homogeneity into a state of marked socioeconomic heterogeneity, This transformation is attributable to differential acculturation of Anglo-American economic strategies, material culture, and ideologies by various sectors of Cherokee society. Such socioeconomic heterogeneity is expected to be manifested in the archaeological record by a high degree of intercontextual variability in Federal Period Cherokee assemblages, contrasting with low levels of variability in Colonial Period Cherokee assemblages. This proposition is addressed in this study through comparative analysis of 13 Federal Period Cherokee assemblages, two Federal Period Anglo-American assemblages, and 43 late Colonial Period Cherokee assemblages derived from contexts in the Tellico Reservoir Archaeological Project area of eastern Tennessee. Patterns of material variability revealed in this analysis indicated a high degree of interassemblage variation among Federal Period Cherokee archaeological assemblages. This variation distinguishes Federal Period Cherokee assemblages most similar to contemporary Anglo-American farmstead assemblages from Federal Period assemblages most similar to the Colonial Period Cherokee sample. Most distinctive among the Federal Period Cherokee sample are assemblages from the Bell Rattle Cabin Site (40MR211), a single family Cherokee farmstead dating 1800-1826. This site, the first of its type investigated in Tennessee, is reported in Appendixes B-G of this thesis.

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