Evidence of Differential Mortuary
Treatment from the
Watkins Site (15Lo12), a Woodland-Mississippi Period
Burial Mound in South-central Kentucky
Darlene Applegate, Ph.D.
Paper presented at the 21st Mid-South Archaeological Conference, 3 June 2000
Do not cite without permission of the author
Abstract | Introduction | Mound A Excavation and Burials | Burial Zones and Chronology
Interzonal Variation in Burials | Intrazonal Variation in Burials | Conclusion
Acknowledgments | References | Endnotes
The Watkins site (15Lo12) is a multicomponent Archaic-Woodland-Mississippian
site in Logan County, Kentucky with two conical earthen mounds and a habitation
area. In the late 1960s, amateur excavations of Mound A uncovered 48 graves
dating to the Middle-Late Woodland and Mississippian periods. Of these,
36 were described in an unpublished manuscript; the remaining 12 are documented
by field forms and photographs. The Mound A documentation has been reexamined
and reevaluated for the purpose of dividing the burials into zones that
represent relative temporal intervals of mound use so that intrazonal and
interzonal comparisons of mortuary treatment could be made. The results
suggest that (1) Middle Woodland Zone I burials provide evidence of differential
mortuary treatment by sex and age, (2) late Middle Woodland to Mississippian
Zone II burials provide evidence of differential mortuary treatment by
age, and (3) the chronologically earlier Zone I burials are more elaborate
than the later Zone II burials. Differences in Mound A burials, it is concluded,
reflect chronological and social (sexual division of labor, achieved status)
The Watkins site (15Lo12) is a multicomponent Archaic-Woodland-Mississippian site in Logan County, south-central Kentucky. The two conical earthen mounds and habitation area that comprise the site are located at 570 to 580 m above sea level near a bend in Clear Fork Creek, which empties into the Gasper River about 3 km to the north (Figure 1). The site is located in the Pennyroyal section of the Mississippian Plateaus physiographic province.
Mound A, the larger of the two mounds, currently measures 22 by 15.5 m with the long axis oriented northeast-southwest. It is approximately 1.5 m high. About 62 m southwest of Mound A is a smaller mound, Mound B, which measures approximately 18.6 by 15 m by about 1 m high. A habitation area is present to the east of the mounds. All areas of the site have been impacted by agricultural activity, and Mound B, though never excavated, has a gas line running through it.
Between the 1960s and 1980s, several research projects were conducted
at the site or with site collections. This paper concerns one of these
projects - excavations of Mound A that uncovered 48 burials affiliated
with the Woodland and Mississippian periods. My research question was "What
factors might explain variation in the Mound A burials?" I was interested
in reexamining and reevaluating the burial documentation for the purpose
of dividing the Mound A burials into zones that represent relative intervals
of mound use so that intrazonal and interzonal comparisons of mortuary
treatment could be made. Before I get to the analysis, a description of
the Mound A excavations and burials is in order.
MOUND A EXCAVATIONS AND BURIALS
Archaeological investigations at the Watkins site began in the 1960s with the excavation of prehistoric graves in Mound A. Upon discovering evidence of looting that "destroyed the central portion of [Mound A]" at the site, the landowner requested that the Southern Kentucky Chapter of the Tennessee Archaeological Society conduct excavations in Mound A (Ray n.d.:1). The work was done between 1965 and 1970 under the supervision of H. Stanley Ray, chapter president.
After sketching and photographing Mound A and establishing spatial controls, a test trench designed to document the mound's stratigraphic profile was dug along the base line. Finding no internal stratigraphy, workers excavated the mound in 1.5 m squares taken down in unspecified levels to sterile subsoil or an arbitrary depth (usually 1.2 m). According to Ray (n.d.), "all graves and features were left in position and exposed throughout the [excavation]. A heavy plastic covering was placed over the mound during weekdays. Measurements and observations were made before the burials were removed." Ray (n.d.) did not indicate if excavated sediments were screened.
Forty-eight burials were exposed and documented, and the skeletons in fair condition were collected. Only burials numbered 1 to 36 were described in Ray's (n.d.) unpublished report of investigations; the remaining burials, which were numbered 43 and 50 to 57, are documented by field forms and photographs. The burial plan in Figure 2 is reconstructed from original field forms, but not all burials could be spatially placed in the mound due to insufficient data. The following description of the Mound A burials is based on field forms, photographs, and the report manuscript and illustrates that there is considerable diversity among the burials in terms of type of inhumation, grave type, grave goods, and other characteristics.
Of the 48 excavated burials, 31 (65%) were in-flesh inhumations, four (8%) were cremations, three (6%) were bundle burials, and 10 (21%) are unspecified or ambiguously reported. Twenty-nine of the 31 (94%) in-flesh inhumations were extended while two (6%) were semiflexed. Thirty (62.5%) of the bodies were placed in complete or partial stone box graves, seven (15%) in pits with 1-2 limestone slabs and/or a limestone cap rock, six (12.5%) in pit graves, and five (10%) in unspecified graves. Thirty-five (73%) graves contained the remains of adults, six (12.5%) contained infants and subadults, and seven (14.5%) graves contained the remains of individuals who could not be aged. In terms of sex determinations, 23 (48%) could not be sexed, 13 (27%) are females, and 12 (25%) are males.
A variety of artifacts were recovered from the Mound A burials, including lithic tools and cores, gorgets, pottery, pipes, shell and bone artifacts, a copper artifact, and mica. Ray (n.d.) did not distinguish between artifacts that were intentionally placed with the bodies versus those that were part of the burial fill, but there is documentation that some artifacts not commonly classified as grave goods (e.g. pot sherds, charcoal, unworked animal bone, lithic debitage) were placed with the deceased.  The hafted bifaces recovered from graves were typed by archaeologists from the Alabama Archaeological Society and include Copena, Motley, and Bakers Creek. Pottery was sent to the University of Tennessee for identification. Most sherds are limestone tempered, are plain or cordmarked, and include Candy Creek Cordmarked and Mulberry Creek Plain. One limestone tempered, tetrapodal, decorated vessel was found in Burial 12.
While some Mound A burials contained no grave goods, others yielded a diverse and/or abundant assortment of items. Nine burials lacked grave goods. Other burials had limited numbers of artifacts. For instance, a limestone-tempered sherd, three bone awls, charcoal, and unworked animal bone were recovered from Burial 33. Burial 3 yielded a cord-marked sherd, a bone awl, a flint artifact, periwinkle shell, and unworked animal bone. Burial 53 had a Bakers Creek point, charcoal, and periwinkle shell. Other burials were comparatively elaborate in terms of grave goods. Burial 9, for example, contained a cache of 26 flint blades, a cache of 35 bladelets, two unidentified projectile points, a slate gorget, a bone awl, a bone beamer, sherds, shell, periwinkle, charcoal, and unworked animal bone. Artifacts recovered from Burial 30 were a cache of 36 objects, which included a copper hemisphere cone, an elbow pipe, five undrilled slate gorgets, a bone awl, an antler tine, four wolf jaws, a triangular point, a slate celt, nine cores, a rock abrader, a bone gouge, and 10 scrapers, as well as a mussel-shell gorget, an unidentified side-notched point, an adze, a deer jaw scraper, a cord-marked sherd, mussel shell, periwinkle shell, turtle shell, and charcoal. In addition to Burial 30, Ray (n.d.) contended that Burials 8 and 14 were interments of the most important individuals, chiefs and subchiefs, of the group who used Mound A.
Ray (n.d.) assigned 20 of the 48 burials to one of three zones according to depth, associated artifacts, and type of grave. The 11 oldest burials (3, 6, 8, 9, 12, 14, 17, 19, 26, 27, and 33) of Zone I, generally speaking, had grave items, were in well-made stone crypts, and occurred at the lowest levels of the mound. The six burials (10, 18, 21, 23, 24, and 30) assigned to Zone II had more poorly constructed stone crypts and few grave items. Three of the simplest graves (13, 28, and 29), which occurred just below the surface in Zone III, lacked stone elements and were described by Ray (n.d.:26, 37) as "simple."
Based on artifactual remains like diagnostic lithics and pottery as well as mica and copper, Ray (n.d.:44-45) hypothesized that Mound A represents an Early-Middle-Late Woodland "Burial Complex" with "mostly a Hopewellian type focus" but also "Mississippian influence in the upper levels."
While some of the artifactual and skeletal material excavated by Ray and associates is currently unaccounted for, other materials were presented to the land owner or were donated to one of several facilities including the Russellville (Kentucky) Public Library, Western Kentucky University, the Children's Museum in Nashville, and the University of Kentucky. Donations to the latter included a skeletal collection representing 23 individuals from Watkins Mound A, which was studied by Lloyd N. Chapman (1972) while a University of Kentucky undergraduate.
With this summary of Mound A excavations and burials in mind, we now
turn to the analysis of differential mortuary treatment in the Watkins
site Mound A burials.
BURIAL ZONES AND CHRONOLOGY
The preceding description of the Mound A burials clearly indicates that there are differences among the burials. What factors might explain the mortuary variation? The first step in the answering this question involved dividing the Mound A burials into zones of associated graves and reevaluating the chronological affiliation of the burials.
Ray (n.d.) placed 20 of the 48 Mound A burials into one of three zones. Based primarily on the depths and relative stratigraphic positions of the burials, I assigned 46 of the 48 burials to a zone of associated burials. Two burials lacked sufficient documentation to place them in a zone. Identification of two rather than three zones of burials seems warranted since the burials Ray (n.d.) assigned to Zones II and III are similar in terms of depths as well as chronologically diagnostic artifacts. Assuming that burials within an individual zone are associated and represent some relative interval of mound use, the assignment of burials to a zone is important for subdividing the interments into chronological units before intrazonal and interzonal comparisons of mortuary treatment are made.
The lowermost Zone I includes 28 burials that were found, on average, 91 cm below the mound surface (Figure 3). With two exceptions, the depth of the base of the Zone I graves ranged from 71 to 122 cm below surface.  As there was nothing about the depths and chronologically diagnostic artifacts associated with the remaining 18 burials that justifies their subdivision, all were assigned to an upper Zone II. Though some of the burial depth data was difficult to interpret, grave depths in Zone II average 41 cm below mound surface and range from 10 to 64 cm below mound surface.  Thus, there is a gap of 7 cm between the uppermost Zone I burial and the lowermost Zone II burial.
Diagnostic artifacts recovered from Zone I burials include limestone tempered pottery sherds, a tetrapodal ceramic vessel with an incised bird motif, an Adena point, a quartz Motley point, a Bakers Creek point, an unspecified straight-stemmed Woodland period point, bladelets, mica, and copper. Based on these artifacts, it is probable that Zone I burials are primarily Middle Woodland in age.
While there appears to be overlap, Zone II burials are more recent than
Zone I burials as evidenced by stratigraphic placement and diagnostic artifacts.
Zone II burials yielded some chronologically diagnostic artifacts that
are late Middle Woodland to Mississippian in affiliation: two Bakers Creek
points, an unspecified Woodland point, two unspecified triangular points,
a ceramic elbow pipe, limestone tempered sherds, and shell tempered sherds.
DIFFERENTIAL MORTUARY TREATMENT
The Zone I and Zone II burials were compared in terms of grave type and grave goods. Generally speaking, while differences in grave type are not significant, the older Zone I burials had more elaborate grave goods than the more recent Zone II burials. Therefore, some variation in the Mound A burials might be explained by chronological factors. It is hypothesized that Middle Woodland burial practices were more elaborate than late Middle Woodland-Mississippian burial practices among the people who inhabited the Watkins site.
Assuming that the construction of stone box graves was more labor intensive than other grave types at the Watkins site, interzonal differences in grave type might indicate chronological differences in the level of time and energy investment in this aspect of mortuary behavior.
Of the 28 Zone I burials, 20 (71%) are interred in stone box graves, two (7%) in pits with stone slabs or cap rocks, five (18%) in pits, and one (4%) is in an unspecified grave. Of the 18 Zone II burials, 10 (55%) are stone box graves, two (11%) are pits with stones, three (17%) are pits, and three (17%) are unspecified types. These data suggest a decrease in the frequency of stone box interments over time, but the unspecified graves in each sample make comparison problematic.
Excluding the unspecified graves, 74% of the Zone I graves are stone boxes, 7% are pits with stones, and 19% are pits. Zone II graves include 67% stone boxes, 13% pits with stones, and 20% pits. The chi-square statistic for these frequencies is 0.04 [d.f. = 2; X2 = 2.71 at 10% level of significance], indicating no significant difference between grave types in Zones I and II.
Five aspects related to grave goods were investigated for evidence of interzonal differences in mortuary treatment. These are percentage of burials with grave goods, diversity of grave goods, percentage of burials with at least one noteworthy grave item, percentage of burials with at least three noteworthy grave items, and diversity of noteworthy grave goods. There are several differences in grave goods between the Zone I and Zone II burials that suggest a greater investment in mortuary treatment during the earlier phase of Mound A use.
First, compared to Zone II burials, a higher percentage of Zone I burials contained grave goods at all. Twenty-four of the 28 Zone I graves (86%) contained some kind of artifact, in contrast with 14 of the 18 Zone II graves (78%).
Second, the diversity of grave goods in Zone I burials is greater than that of Zone II burials. A total of 40 types of burial items was documented for Mound A. Of these, 37 (93%) were recorded for Zone I burials, whereas only 15 (38%) were documented for Zone II burials.
Three variables relate to "noteworthy" grave goods, which are defined as items made of nonlocal materials, labor-intensive materials or items, manufactured items, or items apparently placed intentionally with the body as indicated by field documentation. There are 28 types of noteworthy grave goods, including placement of the body on stone slabs, lithic tools, bone tools, shell tools, pottery vessels and pipes, copper, mica, red ochre, and periwinkle sprinkled over the body.
Twenty-one (75%) of the Zone I burials yielded at least one of the 28 types of noteworthy grave items. Thirteen (72%) of the Zone II burials contained at least one noteworthy item.
Almost half (n=13, 46%) of the Zone I burials contained three or more noteworthy grave goods, and most of these burials are stone box graves. In contrast, only two of the 18 Zone II burials (11%) contained three or more noteworthy grave goods.
All of the 28 types of noteworthy grave items (100%) were recovered from Zone I burials, whereas only 8 of the 28 noteworthy items (29%) were found in Zone II burials. None of the Zone II burials contained pottery vessels, bone tools, shell tools, mica, copper, or red ochre.
The chi-square statistic was calculated for the frequencies of these five grave good variables in Zone I and Zone II. The chi-square value is 3.66, which is not significant at a 10% level of error [d.f. = 4, X2 = 7.78]. This suggests that there is not significant interzonal difference in the five measures of grave goods. For three of the five grave good variables whose percentages showed the most interzonal variation (total grave good diversity, percentage of burials with at least three noteworthy items, and diversity of noteworthy items), the chi-square value is 3.65 [d.f. = 2, X2 = 4.61], which is not significant at a 10% level of error. However, considering the percentage of burials with at least three noteworthy items and the diversity of noteworthy grave goods, the chi-square value of 2.85 does indicate a significant difference between Zone I and Zone II burials at a 10% level of error [d.f. = 1, X2 = 2.71].
In sum, there is little evidence that the Zone I and Zone II burials
differ significantly in terms of type of grave, total diversity of grave
goods, percentage of burials with grave goods, and percentage of burials
with at least one noteworthy grave item. However, there is a statistically
significant interzonal difference in terms of percentage of burials with
at least three noteworthy items and diversity of noteworthy items. For
these variables, earlier Zone I burials contained more noteworthy grave
goods than later Zone II burials. Therefore, at least some of the variation
in Mound A burials can be explained by chronological factors, with some
aspects of Middle Woodland mortuary treatment being more elaborate than
those aspects of late Middle Woodland to Mississippian mortuary treatment.
DIFFERENTIAL MORTUARY TREATMENT
Within each of the two zones, burials were examined for evidence of differential mortuary treatment by sex and by age. Though sample sizes are small, the results summarized below suggest that in each zone different types and amounts of grave goods were placed with males and females, adults and subadults. Possible explanations for these differences are offered.
Since the Zone II sample only contained one identifiable female and five males, these burials were not examined for sex-based differences in mortuary treatment. Of the 28 Zone I burials, on the other hand, seven are adult males and 11 are adult females. While Zone I males and females were interred in stone box graves with equal frequency (72% of each sample), there are sex-related differences in grave goods.
Male burials have a greater diversity of grave goods than female burials (75% and 53%, respectively), and male burials yielded more types of noteworthy items than did female burials (79% and 50%, respectively). There is a greater diversity of lithic tool types in male burials at 2.3 types/burial, in contrast with female burials at 0.6 types/burial. Male burials contained 14 of 16 (88%) of all lithic tool types, whereas female burials contained 5 of 16 (31%) types. While 100% of male burials contained lithic tools, four of the 11 (36%) female burials contained lithic tools. About twice as many male burials as female burials (57% to 27%, respectively) had lithic bifaces. All of the male burials contained unworked animal bone, whereas 64% of the female burials yielded unworked faunal remains. There is a higher percentage of female burials (45%) with bone awls and needles compared to male burials (29%). Only male burials yielded copper, ground-stone celts and adzes, chipped-stone and bone scrapers, bone bracelets, bone gorgets, and ceramic pipes. Only female burials contained pottery vessels. Of the total of nine unique traits in the Zone I graves, males burials yielded eight of these (89%) whereas females yielded one type (11%).
The chi-square statistic for the eight grave goods traits with frequency data is 8.57, which is not significant at a 10% level of error [d.f. = 7, X2 = 12.02]. For three traits, lithic tool diversity, percentage of burials with lithic tools, and unique grave goods, the chi-square statistic is 7.63, which is significant at a 5% level of error [d.f. = 2, X2 = 5.99]. In other words, the Zone I males were interred more often and with more types of lithic tools and other grave goods than were Zone I females.
Might the Zone I differences in mortuary treatment reflect sex-based differences in status, access to resources, and/or sexual division of labor? I prefer the latter explanation for three reasons. First, if the grave good differences were related to status, one might expect that males were interred in stone box graves more often than females, which was not the case. In addition, most of the male:female variation is related to types of grave goods as opposed to quantity or diversity. Second, I feel there is insufficient evidence to argue for differential access to resources; one male burial contained one copper artifact, and mica was recovered from one male and one female burial. Third, there is another line of evidence that supports the contention of sexual division of labor.
Osteometric data recorded by Chapman (1972) for 10 Zone I individuals (5 males and 5 females) were averaged by sex and the percentage of sexual dimorphism was calculated.  Sexual dimorphism in humans has been interpreted to reflect nutritional stress, sexual selection, or sexual division of labor that is more evident in food collectors than food producers (Brown 1970, Murdock and Provost 1973, Frayer 1980, Hamilton 1982, Sciulli et al. 1991). Although the sample sizes are small, the averages suggest that there are differences between the sexes in limb, pelvis, and skull measurements (Applegate 2000). In addition, the average percentage of sexual dimorphism in stature  for the Zone I sample was calculated at 8.3%, which is comparable to that (8.5%) reported by Sciulli et al. (1991) for Terminal Late Archaic populations in Ohio.  Sciulli et al. (1991:247) concluded that this percentage of sexual dimorphism in stature suggested "at least a degree of sexual division of labor" associated with food collecting in the Ohio populations, and a similar suggestion is made for the Watkins site Zone I sample. 
Twenty-four of the 28 Zone I burials contained adults (86%) and four contained subadults (14%). While similar proportions of adults (71%) and subadults (75%) were buried in stone box graves, there appear to be differences in the artifacts found with the two groups. While 21 of 24 adults (88%) had grave goods, only one of four subadults (25%) was interred with grave items. The overall diversity of grave goods was greater for adults, whose graves contained 38 of the 40 types of items (95%), than for subadults, whose graves yielded only 5 types of items (13%). About 92% of the adult burials had one or more types of manufactured artifacts, in contrast with none of the subadults. Of the 28 noteworthy items, adults were buried with 25 types (90%) while subadults were interred with only three (11%). The chi-square statistic for the grave good data is 12.44 and represents a statistically significant difference [d.f. = 4, X2 = 9.49, 5% level of significance].  Compared to subadults, then, adults were buried with more grave goods and a wider range of grave goods that they might have accumulated over their lives. Though the sample sizes are small, these data suggest that during the Middle Woodland period social status within the Watkins community may have been achieved rather than ascribed.
The Zone II burials include 10 adults (56%), two subadults (11%), and six individuals of indeterminate age (33%). Though the sample sizes are small, the Zone II burials are similar to the Zone I burials in that there appear to be age-based differences in grave items but not crypt types. Four of the ten (40%) adults and one (50%) of the two subadults were buried in stone box graves. However, while eight of the ten (80%) adult burials contained grave goods, only one of the two (50%) subadult burials yielded grave items. The diversity of all types of grave items, 15 of 40 types (38%) for adults and two of 40 types (5%) for subadults, and of noteworthy items, 7 of 28 types (25%) for adults and one of 28 (4%) for subadults, are other apparent age-based differences in mortuary treatment. And while half of the adults were buried with finished artifacts, none of the subadults were. While the differences for all traits is not statistically significant with a chi-square value of 3.48 [d.f. = 3, X2 = 6.25, 10% level of significance], the chi-square statistic of 3.28 for diversity of all grave goods and diversity of noteworthy items is significant at a 10% level of error [d.f. = 1, X2 = 2.71].  Again, perhaps these Zone II data indicate the continued practice of achieved rather than ascribed status by members of the Watkins community.
In sum, variation in mortuary treatment within each zone of Mound A was examined by sex and by age. For Zone I, sex-based variation in the diversity and types of grave items suggests that there were differences in status, access to resources, and/or economic role for males and females of the Middle Woodland Watkins community. The proposition that Zone I male:female differences in grave goods reflect sexual division of labor is supported by osteological data on sexual dimorphism. In addition, it is possible that the Watkins community recognized achieved rather than ascribed status as adult burials in each zone contained a greater abundance and diversity of grave items than did subadult burials. Hence, some of the intrazonal variation in Mound A burials may be explained by social factors.
In conclusion, the current study sought to discern and explain variation in mortuary treatment for the Watkins Mound A burials. After assigning 46 of the 48 Mound A burials to zones representing periods of mound use, grave types and grave goods were compared between and within zones for evidence of differential mortuary treatment. Twenty-eight burials were assigned to the lowermost Zone I, which is predominantly Middle Woodland, and 18 burials were placed in the uppermost late Middle Woodland to Mississippian Zone II. In terms of interzonal variation, it is concluded that earlier Watkins site inhabitants interred more noteworthy grave goods with the deceased than did the later inhabitants. Within burial zones, there is evidence of differential mortuary treatment by sex and age. It is concluded that differences in types of grave goods between Zone I males and females reflect sexual division of labor; this proposition is supported by skeletal evidence of sexual dimorphism. In addition, differences in the types and amounts of grave goods interred with adults and subadults during both periods of mound use suggest that the Watkins community recognized achieved rather than ascribed status. Therefore, both chronological and social factors explain some of the variation in mortuary treatment in the Watkins site Mound A burials.
Future work with the Watkins site documentation and collections might
consider questions related to raw material utilization, exchange networks,
artifact manufacture, and diet and health. Radiocarbon dating of Mound
A artifacts would be very helpful for better understanding periods of mound
use and burial sequences. Potential exists for learning more about the
Watkins site inhabitants and, by extension, prehistoric adaptations in
Thanks go to Lloyd Chapman for permission to cite his work with the
Watkins site skeletal remains and for sharing his recollections of the
Mound A excavations. The field documentation of Ray and other members of
the Southern Kentucky Chapter of the Tennessee Archaeological Association,
which is currently curated at the Western Kentucky University Anthropology
Lab, was the foundation of this paper. David Spence, a Western Kentucky
University anthropology undergraduate student, assisted with locating additional
Watkins site photographic documentation curated at the Kentucky Library
at Western Kentucky University. The information presented in this paper
is the responsibility of the author.
2000 The Watkins Site (15Lo12) Revisited: Previous Research, New Interpretations, and Recent Artifact Analysis. In Current Archaeological Research in Kentucky Volume 7. Edited by David Pollack and Kristen J. Gremillion. Kentucky Heritage Council, Frankfort. [In press]
Brown, Judith K.
1970 A Note on the Division of Labor by Sex. American Anthropologist 75:1073-1078.
Chapman, Lloyd N.
1972 A Physical Anthropological Study of the Watkins Skeletal Collection. Manuscript on file at the Western Kentucky University Anthropology Lab, Bowling Green, KY.
Frayer, David W.
1980 Sexual Dimorphism and Cultural Evolution in the Late Pleistocene and Holocene in Europe. Journal of Human Evolution 9:399-415.
Hall, Roberta L.
1982 Consequences of Sexuality. In Sexual Dimorphism in Homo sapiens A Question of Size, edited by R.L. Hall, pp. 3-9. New York, Praeger.
Murdock, George P. and C. Provost
1973 Factors in the Division of Labor by Sex: A Cross-Cultural Analysis. Ethnology 12:203-225.
Ray. H. Stanley
n.d. The Watkins Mound Site: A Prehistoric Burial Mound Complex in Southern Kentucky. Ms. on file at the Western Kentucky University Anthropology Lab, Bowling Green, KY.
Sciulli, Paul W.
1990 Stature Estimation in Prehistoric Native Americans of Ohio (U.S.A.). American Journal of Physical Anthropology 83:275-280.
Sciulli, Paul W., Paul J. Pacheco, and Charles A. Janini
1991 Variation in Limb Bones of Terminal Late Archaic Populations of Ohio. Midcontinental Journal of Archaeology 16:247-271.
1 The mound excavation report (Ray n.d.) and field notes were examined for clues to distinguishing grave goods from artifacts in grave fill. In the excavation report, for example, Ray (n.d.) noted that the artifact cache found with Burial 9 included unworked animal bone in addition to worked artifacts. In describing Burial 10, Ray (n.d.:13) noted that "abundant amounts of red ochre were found with" the body, and "periwinkle shells had been thrown in on the body. Small fires had been built on and around the body. Also in the grave were small animal bones," suggesting that these items had been placed with the body. However, grave associations are less clear in other burial descriptions. For instance, "periwinkle shells were scattered in (or over) the grave fill" and "were scattered about the skull and placed on the chest" of Burial 14 (Ray n.d.:15-16). Ray (n.d.:29) reported that "peri-winkles [sic.] and charcoal were discovered in the grave fill, all the way down to the burial itself" of Burial 17 and "ceremonial rites had been undoubtedly been [sic.] practiced inside the grave, because of the heavy concentration of charcoal, pottery sherds, animal bone, and peri-winkles [sic.]." Field sketches of a number of excavated graves show flint, pottery, bone, charcoal, and periwinkle at the same level as and associated with the bodies.
2 One exception is Burial 24; the depth of this burial was not recorded, but it was associated with Burial 23, which is 71 cm below mound surface. The other exception is Burial 52(1); it is included in Zone I because it was found under Burial 56, a Zone II burial, and because field notes indicate it was similar to another Zone I burial, Burial 32.
3 The depths of Zone II burials are somewhat complicated in that the depths recorded for five of the burials (21, 35, 51, 53, and 54) are depths to the cap rocks instead of the grave bottoms. Based on field documentation recording both cap stone depth and grave bottom depth for a number of burials, the crypts of Mound A range from 15 to 76 cm in the vertical dimension. Hence, the grave bottom depths for Burials 21 (cap rock at 51 cm), 35 (cap rock at 46 cm), 51 (cap rock at 15 to 30 cm), 53 (cap rock at 23 cm) and 54 (cap rock at 46 cm) could be as little as 15 cm greater or as much as 76 cm greater than the cap rocks, putting the estimated grave bottom depths at 66 to 127 for Burial 21, 30 to 107 cm for Burial 51, 38 to 99 cm for Burial 53, and 61 to 122 for Burials 35 and 54. Based on the smaller of the estimated basal depths for each as well as some field descriptions (e.g., field notes indicate that Burial 21 is a Mississippian burial similar to Burial 13, which is a Zone II burial), these five burials are tentatively placed in Zone II. On a different note, depths of Burials 18A and 31 were not recorded by the excavators, but they are included in Zone II based on circumstantial evidence. Burial 18A is associated with Burial 18, which is 58 cm deep. Field notes indicate that Burial 31 was found on Burial 29, which is included in Zone II.
4 Percentage of sexual dimorphism is calculated using the formula (Mx - Fx)/Mx *100 where Mx is the male mean and Fx is the female mean (Frayer 1980).
5 Stature was calculated for three males and three females based on bicondylar femur length; the formula for male Native Americans is 2.45(femur) + 43.56 and for female Native Americans is 2.86(femur) + 22.10 (Sciulli 1990).
6 In a similar study, Frayer's (1980) analysis of sexual dimorphism in the stature of European populations showed that the percentage of sexual dimorphism decreased from 8.6% in the Upper Paleolithic period to 7.5% in the Mesolithic and 5.9% in the Neolithic. Frayer (1980) attributed this decline in stature sexual dimorphism to the shift from food collecting to food producing and the consequent reduction in exclusivity in sexual division of labor.
7 The degree of sexual dimorphism evidenced for the Zone I Middle Woodland burials suggests that the predominant subsistence strategy at that time was food collecting. Railey (1996:90) noted that Middle Woodland subsistence in Kentucky "was based on hunting, gathering, and gardening" and this is fairly consistent with the Watkins data.
8 If one excludes percentage of burials with manufactured items, since the zero value for subadults creates a division by zero error in the chi-square formula, the remaining three traits (percentage of burials with grave goods, diversity of all grave goods, and diversity of noteworthy grave goods) still yield a chi-square statistic of 12.44, which is significant at a 1% level of error [d.f. = 2, X2 = 9.21].
9 Again, the percentage of burials with
manufactured items is problematic since the zero value for subadults creates
a division by zero error in the chi-square formula.
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