Mary Theresa Bonhage-Freund, Ph.D.
"An Experimental Approach to the Analysis of Two Maize Cob-Filled Pits." Early Georgia. 2005, 33 (2): 131-141 2005 Fall.
Etowah (9BR1) is renowned as a regionally influential Mississippian mound center (Larson 1971; King 2003). This paleoethnobotanical evaluation of a pair of Wilbanks phase maize-cob dominated pits is among the few archaeobotanical investigations to emerge from excavations at the Etowah site. I describe the assemblage recovered from the floated contents of Features 64A and B which were adjacent to a rectangular structure within an elite compound on an extension of Mound B (King 2001). The significance of these finds is interpreted in light of both laboratory analysis and taphonomic experimentation. Finally, the function of these pits is evaluated.
This analysis contributes details of local agriculture, aids in interpreting the functions of the cob-filled pits, and of adjacent structures, and gives insight to the Etowah site's ecology. These studies contribute to our understanding of both the Etowah site and southeastern archaeology. At the same time, these data raise new questions to guide future research