The Spoon Toe Site (11MG179): Middle Woodland gardening in the lower Illinois River Valley
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This thesis is an examination of archaeobotanical remains from the Spoon Toe site, a Middle Woodland Massey phase site located in the uplands above the Lower Illinois River valley in Morgan County in western Illinois. The botanical remains from the Spoon Toe site are analyzed and compared with other Middle Woodland sites in western Illinois. Botanical assemblages from these sites are then compared with contemporaneous sites in southern Illinois and the American Bottom to educe regional variation in plant use patterns. This is followed by a discussion of the mobility issues regarding horticultural people. Ethnographic analogy is utilized to formulate a model of what the archaeological sites of residentially mobile farmers during the Middle Woodland period might look like including the organization of a site, artifact assemblage, and most relevant to this study, the botanical assemblage. The four Massey phase sites closely resemble the proposed model of residentially mobile agriculturalists.