Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



Major Professor

Charles H. Faulkner

Committee Members

Major C. R. McCollough, Jefferson Chapman


Stratified Middle Archaic Stanly and Morrow Mountain components discovered in 1975 at the Icehouse Bottom site (40MR23) in the Little Tennessee River Valley provided data comparable with that reported by Joffre L. Coe (1964) from the North Carolina Piedmont Province. The 1976 excavation of the Howard site (40MR66) in the Little Tennessee River Valley added to that information pertaining to stratified Stanly and Morrow Mountain components in the Ridge and Valley Province of Tennessee.

Analysis of the Morrow Mountain component from Icehouse Bottom is presented in this study; this site is emphasized as a result of the additional and new data it provides regarding the Morrow Mountain Complex in the Southeast. Analysis of the Howard site material is incomplete, but it supplements the study of the Morrow Mountain Complex so extensively that it is treated to a limited extent. The nature of the data from these sites, rather than arbitrary geographical boundaries, limits the emphasis of this study to East Tennessee.

Through the comparison of Morrow Mountain artifacts and sites in the Southeast and the critical analysis of the data from East Tennessee, a reassessment of the Morrow Mountain Complex has been achieved. This reassessment clarifies some of the traits and attributes of the Complex. Results of the analysis of the eastern Tennessee material suggest that:

(1) Variation of Morrow Mountain Stemmed type points within a site or from site to site is due to raw material variations and, possibly, functional variation.

(2) Short straight stemmed points were utilized in conjunction with Morrow Mountain type points. Their distribution in the Stanly component as well as Late Archaic components suggests they were transitional type points to the Late Archaic period.

(3) The lithic assemblages of Morrow Mountain components in the Little Tennessee River Valley are distinguished by Morrow Mountain I and II Stemmed type projectile points, short straight stemmed type points, end and side scrapers, bifacial and unifacial knives, drills, spokeshaves, atlatl weights, netsinkers, pitted cobbles, and hammerstones.

(4) In the Little Tennessee River Valley, the Morrow Mountain I and II Stemmed type projectile points and a distinctive end scraper type are the only diagnostic lithic artifacts of the Morrow Mountain assemblage.

(5) The Morrow Mountain settlement system included site selection ranging from valley floors to hilltops and rock shelters.

(6) Radiocarbon determinations place the Morrow Mountain Complex from 4500 B.C. to 5305 B.C.

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