Center for Archaeological Research

University of Mississippi

Geophysical Survey and Excavations at 22Ok778

CAR has joined with archaeologists from Chickasaw Nation, the University of Florida, and the University of South Carolina to investigate the late prehistoric and Contact periods in northeast Mississippi, an important area because it was occupied by several native groups—including the ancestors of the Chickasaw—when the De Soto expedition spent the winter of 1540-1540 in the region.  22Ok778 is an interesting site because it exhibits native ceramics and iron artifacts that are consistent with the fifteenth to sixteenth centuries.

CAR conducted a magnetometer survey of approximately four acres at the site in Spring 2016 that identified several large anomalies.  These anomalies were investigated in June 2016 through a field project that included the University of Mississippi’s archaeological fieldschool, participants in the Chickasaw Nation’s Chickasaw Explorers program, and archaeologists from the University of Florida.  This fieldwork also was supported by a grant from Chickasaw Nation and funding from the Study USA program.  The 2016 excavations showed that the anomalies identified during the magnetometer survey were large midden-filled pits and basins.  The artifacts from these pits are being processed and analyzed at the University of Mississippi.

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