Research Laboratories of Archaeology


Feltus Project (Vin Steponaitis)


The Late Woodland period in the Lower Mississippi Valley saw the emergence of the Coles Creek culture, which was characterized by large civic-ceremonial centers with mounds, similar in plan to later Mississippian sites. In order to better understand how these early civic-ceremonial centers were built and used, I have been directing excavations at the Feltus Mounds in Jefferson County, Mississippi, which date ca. AD 700-1000. This project is co-directed by John O’Hear (U. of Mississippi). Since 2006 we have completed five field seasons, and plan to continue our excavations in 2017.

The reports generated by this project are listed below in the following categories:


Publications
  • Kassabaum, Megan C. (2011). "Looking Beyond the Obvious: Identifying Patterns in Coles Creek Mortuary Data." Southeastern Archaeology 30(2): 215-225. [PDF]
  • Kassabaum, Megan C., David J. Cranford, and Erin Stevens Nelson (2011). "Multiple Modes of Monumentality: Case Studies from the American South." SAA Archaeological Record 11(4):33-37. [PDF] [SAA]
  • Kassabaum, Megan C., Edward R. Henry, Steponaitis, Vincas P., and John W. O'Hear (2014). "Between Surface and Summit: the Process of Mound Construction at Feltus." Archaeological Prospection 21: 27–37. [PDF]
  • Nelson, Erin Stevens, and Megan C. Kassabaum (2014). "Expanding Social Networks Through Ritual Deposition: A Case Study from the Lower Mississippi Valley." Archaeological Review from Cambridge 29(1): 103-128. [PDF]
  • Steponaitis, Vincas P., Megan Kassabaum, and John O'Hear (2015). "Coles Creek Antecedents." In Medieval Mississippians: The Cahokian World, edited by Susan M. Alt and Timothy R. Pauketat, pp. 12-19. SAR Press, Santa Fe. [PDF]
  • Kassabaum, Megan C., and Erin Stevens Nelson (2016). "Standing Posts and Special Substances: Gathering and Ritual Deposition at Feltus (22JE500), Jefferson County, Mississippi." Southeastern Archaeology 35(2): 134-154. [PDF]
 

Student Theses
  • Kassabaum, Megan C. (2007). Looking Beyond the Obvious: Identifying Patterns in Coles Creek Mortuary Data. Fourth-semester paper, Department of Anthropology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. [PDF]
  • Patchett, Vanessa R. (2008). Reconstructing the Past: A Methodological Study of A Coles Creek Period Assemblage. BA honors thesis, Department of Anthropology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. [PDF]
  • Williams, Leah S. (2008). The Paleoethnobotany of the Feltus Mounds Site. BA honors thesis, Department of Anthropology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. [PDF]
  • DeMasi, Natalie (2013). Refining Point Types in Southwest Mississippi. BA honors thesis, Curriculum in Archaeology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. [PDF]
  • Kassabaum, Megan C. (2014). Feasting and Communal Ritual in the Lower Mississippi Valley, AD 700–1000. PhD dissertation, Department of Anthropology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. [PDF]
  • Warshauer, Isaac (2015). Seeking Clarity in Postholes: An Examination of Coles Creek Earthfast Architecture. BA honors thesis, Curriculum in Archaeology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. [PDF] [PDF]
 

Posters
  • Kassabaum, Megan C., and Michael T. Goldstein (2010). "Form and Function in Coles Creek Ceramics." Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Southeastern Archaeological Conference, Lexington, Kentucky. (Abstract published in Southeastern Archaeological Conference Bulletin 53.) [PDF]
  • Kassabaum, Megan C. (2012). "Bear Ceremonialism at the Feltus Site." Poster presented at the Graduate Research Symposium, Center for the Study of the American South, UNC-Chapel Hill. [PDF]
  • Steponaitis, Vincas P., Megan C. Kassabaum, and John W. O'Hear (2012). "Coles Creek Earthworks and Ritual at the Feltus Mounds in Southwest Mississippi, AD 700-1100." Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Memphis, Tennessee. (Abstract published in Southeastern Archaeological Conference Bulletin 55.) [PDF]
  • Steponaitis, Vincas P., Megan C. Kassabaum and John W. O'Hear (2013). "The Scale and Complexity of Earthmoving at Feltus." Poster presented at the Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Archaeological Conference, Tampa, Florida. (Abstract published in Southeastern Archaeological Conference Bulletin 56.) [PDF]
  • Steponaitis, Vincas P., Megan C. Kassabaum and John W. O'Hear (2015). "The Uses of Platform-Mound Summits at a Coles Creek Site in Southwest Mississippi." Poster presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco. [PDF]
 

Conference Papers
  • Steponaitis, Vincas P., and John W. O'Hear (2007). "An Overview of the 2006 Excavations at the Feltus Mounds." Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Mississippi Archaeological Association, Grenada.
  • Steponaitis, Vincas P., John W. O'Hear, Megan C. Kassabaum, Jennifer Ringberg, R. P. Stephen Davis, Jr., Brett H. Riggs, Jay K. Johnson, and Bryan Haley (2007). "Feltus: A Coles Creek Mound Site in the Natchez Bluffs." Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Southeastern Archaeological Conference, Knoxville, Tennessee. (Abstract published in Southeastern Archaeological Conference Bulletin 50: 95.)
  • Steponaitis, Vincas P., and John W. O'Hear (2008). "The 2007 Excavations at the Feltus Mounds." Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Mississippi Archaeological Association.
  • Cummings, Garrett B. (2008). "Gumbo Balls and Earth Divers: Contagious Magic in Mound Construction at a Coles Creek Site." Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Southeastern Archaeological Conference, Charlotte, N.C. (Abstract published in Southeastern Archaeological Conference Bulletin 51.) [PDF]
  • Kassabaum, Megan C. (2008). "Looking Beyond the Obvious: Identifying Patterns in Coles Creek Mortuary Data." Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Southeastern Archaeological Conference, Charlotte, N.C. (Abstract published in Southeastern Archaeological Conference Bulletin 51.) [PDF]
  • Patchett, Vanessa R. (2008). "An Analysis of Coles Creek Period Vessel Shapes and Sizes." Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Southeastern Archaeological Conference, Charlotte, N.C. (Abstract published in Southeastern Archaeological Conference Bulletin 51.) [PDF]
  • Sherwood, Sarah C., Bryan S. Haley, and Jay K. Johnson (2008). "Geoarchaeology and Geophysics at Feltus." Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Southeastern Archaeological Conference, Charlotte, N.C. (Abstract published in Southeastern Archaeological Conference Bulletin 51.)
    • Part A: Geoarchaeology (by Sarah C. Sherwood) [PDF]
    • Part B: Geophysics (by Bryan S. Haley and Jay K. Johnson) [PDF]
  • Steponaitis, Vincas P., and John W. O'Hear (2008). "Recent Excavations at the Feltus Mounds: Preliminary Findings and Comparisons." Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Southeastern Archaeological Conference, Charlotte, N.C. (Abstract published in Southeastern Archaeological Conference Bulletin 51: 83.)
  • Williams, Leah S. (2008). "Plant Use at the Feltus Mounds Site: A Look at Coles Creek Subsistence." Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Southeastern Archaeological Conference, Charlotte, N.C. (Abstract published in Southeastern Archaeological Conference Bulletin 51.) [PDF]
  • Kassabaum, Megan C. (2008). "Investigations at the Feltus Mounds, Jefferson County, Mississippi." Graduate Research Symposium, Center for the Study of the American South, UNC-Chapel Hill.
  • Steponaitis, Vincas P. (2009). "Recent Excavations at the Feltus Mounds, Jefferson County, Mississippi." Keynote address, Mississippi Archaeological Association and Louisiana Archaeological Society, Natchez.
  • Steponaitis, Vincas P., John W. O'Hear, and Megan C. Kassabaum (2009). "Early Coles Creek Ceremonialism At the Feltus Mounds, Jefferson County, Mississippi." Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Southeastern Archaeological Conference, Mobile, Alabama. (Abstract published in Southeastern Archaeological Conference Bulletin 52: 60.)
  • Kassabaum, Megan C. (2009). "Of Pots and People: Excavations at Feltus Mounds, Jefferson County Mississippi." Paper presented at the Historic Natchez Conference, Natchez, Mississippi.
  • O'Hear, John W., Vincas P. Steponaitis, and Megan C. Kassabaum (2010). "Coles Creek Ritual and Plaza Construction Near Mound D at Feltus." Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Southeastern Archaeological Conference, Lexington, Kentucky. (Abstract published in Southeastern Archaeological Conference Bulletin 53.)
  • Kassabaum, Megan C. (2010). "Conceptualizing and Reconceptualizing Feasts." Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Southeastern Archaeological Conference, Lexington, Kentucky. (Abstract published in Southeastern Archaeological Conference Bulletin 53.)
  • Kassabaum, Megan C., David Cranford, and Erin Nelson (2010). "Multiple Modes of Monumentality: Case Studies from the American South." Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association, New Orleans, Louisiana.
  • Megan C. Kassabaum, and John W. O’Hear, and Vincas P. Steponaitis (2011). "Mound and Anti-Mound: The Search for Mound D at Feltus." Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Mississippi Archaeological Association, Greenville. (Abstract published in Mississippi Archaeological Association Newsletter 46(2): 10.)
  • Goldstein, Michael T., and Megan C. Kassabaum (2011). "Coles Creek Vessel Types: Form and Function." Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Mississippi Archaeological Association, Greenville. [PDF]
  • O'Hear, John W., and Vincas P. Steponaitis (2011). "Centros de Monticulos y la Agricultura, un Ejemplo del Sureste de Norte America." Segundo Taller Internacional de Arqueología Ambiental, Holguín, Cuba. ["Mound Centers and Agriculture, an Example from Southeastern North America." Second International Workshop in Environmental Archaeology, Holguín, Cuba.]
  • David Cranford, Erin Stevens Nelson, and Megan C. Kassabaum (2011). "Palimpsests of Meaning in Southeastern Platform Mounds." Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Southeastern Archaeological Conference, Jacksonville, Florida. (Abstract published in Southeastern Archaeological Conference Bulletin 54.)
  • Steponaitis, Vincas P., John W. O’Hear, and Megan C. Kassabaum (2012). "A New Look at Coles Creek Mounds and Ritual: Recent Excavations at Feltus." Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Caddo Conference, Natchitoches, Louisiana.
  • Steponaitis, Vincas P., Edward R. Henry, Megan C. Kassabaum, John W. O’Hear, Alexander Craib, and Sarah Wyatt (2012). "Between Surface and Summit: The Process of Mound Construction at Feltus." Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Southeastern Archaeological Conference. (Abstract published in Southeastern Archaeological Conference Bulletin 55.)
  • O'Hear, John W., Vincas P. Steponaitis, Megan C. Kassabaum, Erin Stevens Nelson, and David J. Cranford (2012). "An Overview of the 2012 Field Season at the Feltus Mounds." Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Southeastern Archaeological Conference. (Abstract published in Southeastern Archaeological Conference Bulletin 55.)
  • Kassabaum, Megan C., and Erin Nelson (2012). "Standing Posts and Special Substances: Ritual Deposition at Feltus, Jefferson County, Mississippi." Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Southeastern Archaeological Conference, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. (Abstract published in Southeastern Archaeological Conference Bulletin 55.)
  • Kassabaum, Megan C. (2012). "Bear Ceremonialism at Feltus." Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Louisiana Archaeological Society, Lafayette, Louisiana.
  • Kassabaum, Megan C. (2013). "Feasting Reconceptualized: A View from the American South." Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Honolulu, Hawaii.
  • Kassabaum, Megan C. (2013). "First, We Eat: Conceptualizing Feasting at Feltus." Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Southeastern Archaeological Conference, Tampa, Florida. (Abstract published in Southeastern Archaeological Conference Bulletin 56.)
  • Kassabaum, Megan C. (2014). "Food and Feast: Analysis of Plant and Animal Remains from Feltus." Paper presented at the annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Austin, Texas.
  • Kassabaum, Megan C. (2015). "The Importance of the Center: Exploring Circular Spaces in the Lower Mississippi Valley." Paper presented at the annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California.
  • O’Hear, John, Megan C. Kassabaum, Ashley Peles, and Vin Steponaitis (2016). "Coles Creek Mound Summits and Their Uses." Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Southeastern Archaeological Conference, Athens, Georgia. (Abstract published in Southeastern Archaeological Conference Bulletin 59: 93.)
 

Miscellaneous Reports
  • Guillot, Craig (2007). "Examining a Mysterious Mound-Building Culture." American Archaeology 11(1): 38-43. [PDF]
  • DeMasi, Natalie (2010). An Analysis of Feltus South Plaza Plow Zone. Manuscript. [PDF]
  • Henry, Edward R., and Jay K. Johnson (2012). "Geophysical Investigations at Feltus Mounds (22Je568), Jefferson County, Mississippi." Center for Archaeological Research, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Mississippi. [PDF]