Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



Major Professor

Gerald F. Schroedl

Committee Members

Jefferson Chapman, Charles H. Faulkner


The goal of this study is the examination of the temporal variability between the Mississippian I and II Period components at the Martin Farm site (40MR20) in terms of their lithic assemblages. Lithic artifacts from the 1975 excavations are studied, and only artifacts from well-dated contexts are used for this analysis. These artifacts are compared to the lithics from Feature 325, a Mississippian I feature at Tomotley (40MR5), and to late Woodland III Period Features 20 and 80 from Jones Ferry (40MR76).

A total of 9938 lithic artifacts are analyzed using a nominal categorization of discrete variables. Data produced by this categorization are presented and analyzed using bar graphs and the chi-square test to delineate functional, formal and technological variability in the assemblages studied.

Sixty-five projectile points and 626 flakes are further analyzed using a multivariate coding system for continuous and discrete variables. Data obtained from this coding system are analyzed and compared by means of t-tests, principal-component analysis and cluster analysis. Eleven metric attributes, such as length, width and thickness, on the projectile points and 10 metric attributes on the flakes are analyzed. Seven discrete or non-metric attributes are also noted for both the projectile points and debitage.

Analysis of the projectile points indicates that the Hamilton Incurvate, Madison and incurvate base/straight blade (Mississippian) projectile point types occur in all the assemblages examined with no significant differences in frequency. This shows that these projectile point types are not the distinctive Woodland or Mississippian temporal markers they were once thought to be.

The bifacial thinning flakes from the earlier Jones Ferry Feature 80 context have smaller platforms and larger bulbs of force than those of the Martin Farm assemblages, but these differences may be due to inadequate sample size. The overall similarity of these assemblages examined, however, supports the model of gradual, in situ development of Mississippian out of Woodland in eastern Tennessee.

Files over 3MB may be slow to open. For best results, right-click and select "save as..."

Included in

Anthropology Commons