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Mississippian Mortuary PracticesBeyond Hierarchy and the Representationist Perspective$
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Lynne P. Sullivan and Robert C. Mainfort

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780813034263

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813034263.001.0001

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Multiple Groups, Overlapping Symbols, and the Creation of a Sacred Space at Etowah’s Mound C

Multiple Groups, Overlapping Symbols, and the Creation of a Sacred Space at Etowah’s Mound C

Chapter:
(p.54) 4 Multiple Groups, Overlapping Symbols, and the Creation of a Sacred Space at Etowah’s Mound C
Source:
Mississippian Mortuary Practices
Author(s):

Adam King

Publisher:
University Press of Florida
DOI:10.5744/florida/9780813034263.003.0004

The burial record of Mound C at the Etowah site shows differential burial treatments that are linked to differences in social status in Etowah society. Mound C contains evidence that multiple groups were buried in the mound. This essay explores the Late Wilbanks phase portion of the Mound C burial record and uses demographic and artifactual information to examine in more detail the nature of the spatial groupings noted so long ago. The summit of Mound C was a sacred space centered on an axis mundi and surrounded by groups of burials. The people in discrete sets of burials around Mound C would have been the equivalent of the clans around the Square Ground or the family members in the household. The archaeological data is not inconsistent with the notion that burial groupings around Mound C were corporate kin groups.

Keywords:   Mound C, Etowah site, social status, Late Wilbanks, burials, sacred space, spatial groupings, clans, corporate kin groups

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