Testing for a Functional Relationship Between Shell Rings and Flood-Prone Environments in the Yazoo Basin of the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley
Raymond, Tiffany Renee
The form and function of freshwater mussel shell rings in the Yazoo Basin was examined in this thesis. General and controlled surface collections, excavations, a seriation, and documentary research on flooding in the Yazoo Basin were completed. Four sites were investigated, including 22YZ513 (Rugby Farm), 22YZ605 (Light Capp), 22QU562 (Devil’s Race Track), and 22QU569 (Drew Smith), in an attempt to address whether shell rings were a functional byproduct of flood-prone environments. Results indicated that the two Quitman County sites were not shell rings, even though they appeared as such from aerial photographs, and that they represent a different ceramic cultural lineage than the two shell ring sites in Yazoo County. The two shell ring sites support hypothesis 1: that a functional relationship existed between shell rings and flood-prone environments during the Middle to Late Woodland periods in the Yazoo Basin.