Date of Graduation

8-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Anthropology (MA)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Anthropology

Advisor

Marvin Kay

Committee Member

George Sabo

Second Committee Member

Margaret Guccione

Abstract

Building monumental architecture has been one method used by humans to rise above an earthbound existence. In the United States, large earthen mounds were constructed from the Archaic period to the Mississippian period. The Collins Mound Site in Arkansas was recently dated to the Late Woodland period. For this study, soil samples were extracted from the northern section of the site for description and particle-size analysis. Erosion from plowing, wind, water, and gravity is the most likely process causing a decreased mound height and increased basal diameter. Mound fill likely originated near the river for two of the mounds and was collected from the topsoil in close proximity to the third mound. The absence of an A horizon indicates the mound builders prepared the surface before construction.

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