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Jesse Nowak

Establishing Settlement Pattern Research at the Lake Jackson Mississippian Center

jesse nowak

Settlement pattern research is a broad approach to understanding how people dispersed themselves over the landscape in which they lived. In understanding settlement, we can get a more direct reflection of social, ritual, and economic activities than most other aspects of material culture available to archaeologists. The archaeological site of Lake Jackson (AD 1050-1450) is a multi-mound center in northwest Florida that is recognized as one of the most important Mississippian sites in the southeastern United States. Though previous research began as far back as the 1940’s, work has not emphasized the site as a whole. Jesse’s thesis project entailed excavating over 40 excavation units and conducting ground penetrating radar and magnetometer surveys in available areas. By examining the excavation history, deposition variables, ecological and topographic differences throughout the site, his work has explored sections of the Lake Jackson landscape previously unresearched. His intentions are to provide insight into prehistoric activity and occupation throughout the entire known site area to understand and interpret the complete Lake Jackson community.

To achieve these goals, Jesse is conducting archival and artifactual analysis of his and previous excavations at the site, including a great deal of work that has never been published. Incorporating his work into the larger corpus of explorations will provide one of the most holistic data sets on Lake Jackson yet provided. With this, he will display artifact distributions and feature locations in digital Lidar map formats and statistical results. These new maps, methodological approaches, and fieldwork will provide the main elements of his study on the built environment at Lake Jackson.