Marksville Incised, var. Marksville vessel. Wide, U-shaped incised lines are used in both Marksville and Hopewellian ceramic decoration. The Marksville variety, however, has few northern parallels. The width of the incised lines is about the same as the space between lines. Although found in the southern Yazoo and Tensas Basins, var. Marksville is most closely associated with the Marksville phase. This vessel has two diagnostic early Marksville r
Marksville Incised, var. Sunflower vessel. Widely spaced incised lines, as used in this simple meander pattern of parallel lines, is a more standard usage in the northern Yazoo Basin and in northern Hopewell. The small beaker was found by Fowke in Marksville Mound 4. Height 6.1 cm, diameter 7.4 cm, capacity 150 ml. Smithsonian No. 331708, U.S. National Museum.
Marksville Stamped, var. Marksville vessel. Fowke excavated another vessel in Marksville Mound 4 which exemplifies broad U-shaped lines used to create bands that are alternately roughened by dentate rocker stamping. The vessel combines a tubby pot vessel mode with a tapered pedestal base. The same combination was used on another vessel found in the Pharr Mound in northeaster Mississippi. The Pharr vessel is roughly contemporary and, in fact, may b
Marksville Stamped, var. Marksville vessel. A well executed scroll motif is emphasized by zoned dentate rocker stamping on a tubby pot recovered from Marksville Mound 4 by Ford and Setzler. The deeply notched front edge of the lip is another typical early Marksville rim treatment. Height 7.4 cm, diameter 10.9 cm, capacity 400 ml. Smithsonian No. 369003, U.S. National Museum.
Baytown Plain, var. Marksville vessel. Plain vessels from early Marksville mortuary contexts are usually small (cup- or pint-sized). A vessel found by Ford and Setzler in Marksville Mound 4 has a characteristic notched lip. The jar was found on top of the burial platform in association with the badly crushed skull of an animal presumed to be a dog. Height 11.8 cm, diameter 10.6 cm, capacity 650 ml. Smithsonian No. 369006, U.S. National Museum.
Marksville Mound 6. Conical burial mounds, Hopewell style ceramics, and possibly earthworks are easy enough to identify as Hopewellian horizon markers. Mounds 2 and 6 at Marksville, however, are more of an enigma. Mound 6 is a flat-topped pyramidal structure not normally associated with either Marksville or Hopewell. The mound is about 100 meters in diameter and 4 meters high. The handful of pottery from Mound 6 is associated with the Marksville
Effigy Raven platform pipe (length 12.2cm), Rutherford Mound, Hardin County, Illinois. Many diagnostic Hopewellian artifacts have yet to turn up at an early Marksville site. Stone platform pipes, such as the exquisite raven effigy from Rutherford, is one example. Although platform pipes are found at Marksville sites in modest numbers, they are normally crude ceramic copies of the northern originals. Illinois State Museum.
Snyders points, Mackinaw cache, Tazewell County, Illinois. Finely chipped Hopewellian corner-notched projectile points are another artifact class missing at Marksville sites. The closest examples, identified as Gibson or Norton forms (Griffin 1979: 270), are from Mound B at the Bynum site in the northeastern Mississippi which is associated to some degree - by Marksville ceramics - with Mississippi Valley. Lithic technology capable of producing Synd
Copper earspools, Bynum site, northeastern Mississippi. Another Hopewellian status-related artifact, the copper earspool, is known only from Helena Crossing and Crooks but can be expected to turn up in a few other Marksville mortuary contexts. Like the Bynum earspools, the Marksville specimens date approximately A.D. 150 to 300 and originated in northern Hopewellian centers, particularly the Ohio Valley. National Park Service Visitor Center, Tupelo
Sheet copper cylinder, Helena Crossing, Phillips County, Arkansas. An unusual imported copper artifact was found in an early Marksville context on the floor of Tomb E in Helena Mound C. The sheet copper cylinder, which has a cut-out design, is thought to have been a ferrule for a wooden staff (Ford 1963). Bits of wood adhered to the inside of the cylinder. There is a hole at one end through which a pin may have secured the metal sleeve to the staf
Village midden, Panther Lake site, northeastern Louisiana. Many Marksville village sites are multicomponent. Favorable locations were reoccupied repeatedly, and Marksville material shows up as a level in what is often a homogeneous midden deposit laid down over many centuries. The Panther Lake site is known primarily as a Tchefuncte site in the Tensas Basin., but early Marksville, Point Lake phase ceramics were found at the site. Photo courtesy of
Weeks Island site, coastal Louisiana. Along the Gulf Coast, shell middens constitute the most common type of site. At Weeks Island excavations uncovered a deep deposit which spans many centuries and cultural systems. A strong early Marksville component is present at Weeks Island. Photo courtesy of Robert Neuman, Museum of Geoscience (Museum of Natural Science), Louisiana State University.
Marksville Stamped, var. Marksville vessel cast. The Moncla site on Red River north of Marksville once had a mound in which Edward Neild salvaged some copper beads and a fine Marksville beaker (Toth 1977a). The vessel has an alternately roughened loop motif that is emphasized by detate rocker stamping and punctates. The front edge of the rim is notched, an expected occurrence on a diagnostic early Marksville vessel. Height 10.5 cm, diameter 11.5 c
Marksville Incised, var. Marksville vessel. Narrow incised lines are used in a concentric circle motif on a soft, chalky early Marksville vessel from the McGuffee site on the lower Ouachita River near Sicily Island in Catahoula Parish, Louisiana. The beaker was found in a conical mound cut by highway construction (Toth 1977a). Concentric circles, rectangles, and triangles are common early Marksville motifs. Height 8.5 cm, diameter 11.0 cm, capacit
Distribution of early Marksville sites and phases. Since the early investigation of mounds at Marksville and Crooks, a number of additional early Marksville components have been identified. These have been divided into distinct cultural phases (Phillips 1970; Toth 1977a), primarily on the basis of ceramics. Components of each phase may have been integrated into tribal units that are roughly parallel to the much later "provinces" of the Do Soto narr
Marksville Stamped, var. Marksville vessel. Crosshatched rims and raptorial bird motifs provide close parallels with the lower Illinois Valley. A slender pot from Crooks Mound combines these elements in a classic manner. Height 13.5 cm, diameter 11.1 cm, capacity 750 ml. LSU No. 1952, Museum of Geoscience.
Marksville Stamped, var. Marksville vessel. An alternately slanted Marksville rim and bird motif on a tubby pot from Crooks provide another example of ceramic parallels. The Marksville vessels were made of local clay-tempered paste and are not imports. Similar ceramics have been found in numerous village contexts. Toth (1977a, 1977b, 1979a) provides detailed discussion of the parallels between early Marksville ceramics and Hopewell style ceramics
Marksville Stamped, var. Crooks vessel. The raptorial bird and other Marksville motifs often are emphasized by zoned dentate rocker stamping. Zones scallop shell impressions offer one variation used to create the same effect, as on this ovoid bowl from the Crooks Mound. The Crooks variety is well associated with the Marksville phase and with phases to the south. Height 7.0 cm, length 16.7 cm, width 11.9 cm, capacity 780 ml. LSU No. 2280, Museum o
Marksville Incised, var. Sunflower vessel. Sometimes the bird design is not highlighted by zoned background roughening, and sometimes the bird is broad-billed rather than raptorial as on one tubby pot from Crooks. Height 10.1 cm, diameter 11.3 cm, capacity 640 ml. LSU No. 5533, Museum of Geoscience.
Marksville Stamped, var. Marksville vessel. On another pot from Crooks, the broad-billed bird motif is linked with the diagnostic early Marksville crosshatched rim. Height 5.3 cm, diameter 7.3 cm, capacity 120 ml. LSU No. 5717, Museum of Geoscience.
Marksville Stamped, var. Marksville vessel. On an unusual U-shaped vessel from Helena Crossing, the head of the bird motif is achieved through the use of multiple incised lines. A multiple line variation of the bird motif also is present at the Coral Snake Mound in the Texas-Louisiana border region. The striking dual mouthed vessel form has no known Lower Mississippi Valley parallels, but a similar form from Pierce Mound A in the Apalachicola regi
Conch shell container, Helena Crossing, Phillips County, Arkansas. Large marine shells presumably were traded along the Gulf Coast on their way into the Southeast. Three Cassis and six Busycon shells found in the Helena Crossing log crypts make the Apalachicola, Florida parallel for the Helena U-shaped vessel a little less far fetched. Helena is the only early Lower Mississippi Valley site with a good representation of marine shells, thus hinting t
Drilled red wolf canines, Helena Crossing, Phillips County, Arkansas. Beads made of marine shells were found with 15 red wolf drilled lower canines in the waist area of a burial in Helena Mound C. Mortuary use of large carnivore canines is not limited to a Hopewellian horizon. Canines are rare, however, in Marksville context. An unidentified large carnivore canine, also drilled, from Saline Point provides the sole parallel with Helena Crossing. A
Mabin Stamped, var. Mabin vessel. Zoned cord-wrapped stick impressions are also found in the Lower Mississippi Valley. A square beaker from Crooks utilizes cord-wrapped stick impressions to emphasize a strange motif which possibly involves a plant/germination theme. Height 8.4 cm, diameter 9.7 cm, capacity 44 ml. LSU No. 1944, Museum of Geoscience.
Mabin Stamped, var. Mabin vessel. An unusually large jar from Crooks again utilizes zoned cord-wrapped stick impressions. The Mabin variety is present at Marksville sites throughout most of the Lower Mississippi Valley, but particularly associated with Point Lake phase in northeastern Louisiana. Height 26.1 cm, diameter estimated 25.0 cm, capacity estimated 8000 ml. LSU No. 2279, Museum of Geoscience.
Marksville Stamped, var. Marksville vessel. Another diagnostic decoration shared by Marksville and Illinois Hopewell is the vertically bisected circle motif. A tubby pot from Crooks combines the vertically bisected circle with a crosshatched rim. The sloppy execution and the soft, thick ware of which the pot is fashioned, when compared to the very fine Hopewell vessels in the Illinois Valley, suggest that the direction of diffusion of ceramic ideas
Grinding cornmeal, ca. 1900. A frequent task for Pueblo women was the grinding of cornmeal for meals. Special rooms with sets of metates that ranged from coarse to fine-grained stone were often set aside for this task. Starting with the coarse metate, a woman would use successively finer metates until a fine meal was produced.
Marksville Stamped, var. Marksville vessel. A beaker from Crooks uses a variation of the vertically bisected circle motif in which halves of the concentric circles are shifted up and down respectively. The variation demonstrates reinterpretation of Hopewellian ideas by local Lower Mississippi Valley societies. Height 10.0 cm, diameter 14.2 cm, capacity 1000 ml. LSU No. 5560, Museum of Geoscience.
Ceramic effigy platform pipe. Marksville copies of Hopewellian platform pipes in the local medium, fired clay, are usually plain. One effigy from the Crooks Mound portrays an unidentifiable mammal with a short tail and well-formed phalanges on both hands and feet. The Crooks pipe provides another important example of an attempt by a Marksville individual to duplicate a class of artifacts that reaches exquisite proportions in northern Hopewell. Len
Platform pipe, Avoyelles Parish, Louisiana. Clarence B. Moore excavated two mounds at Saline Point on Red River. In remains of the "upper mound," a local farmer found a rare lithic example of a Marksville platform pipe. It is made of red and buff silt-stone, a local material found in concretionery deposits scattered throughout Avoyelles and surrounding parishes. Similar ceramic platform pipes are known from the Marksville, Crooks, Grand Gulf, Sali
Marksville Incised, var. Sunflower vessel. Red filming crosscuts a number of early Marksville varieties, especially in the northern Yazoo Basin. Zoned red filming on a bowl from Crooks may be used to emphasize a highly stylized version of the bird motif. Height 5.8 cm, diameter 11.2, capacity 340 ml. LSU No. 2276, Museum of Geoscience.
Indian Bay Stamped, var. Cypress Bayou vessel. Unzoned dentate rocker stamping is especially prevalent in the northern Yazoo and upper Tensas Basins. One of the finest examples, however, is from the Crooks site in La Salle Parish, Louisiana. The fine dentate rocker stamping is used as an all-over body decoration. Height 8.7 cm, diameter 8.8 cm, capacity 320 ml. LSU No. 5933 Museum of Geoscience.
Marksville Incised, var. Marksville vessel. Wide U-shaped incised lines also are used as an all-over body decoration. On a tubby pot from Crooks, parallel incised lines on the body are combined with dentate rocker stamping along the rim. Typical Marksville hemiconical punctuations separate the two decorations. Height 6.6 cm, diameter 9.2 cm, capacity 230 ml. LSU No. 5530, Museum of Geoscience.
Marksville Incised, var. Marksville vessel. Another tubby pot from Crooks has a concentric circle motif, similar to the McGuffee beaker, beneath a Marksville crosshatched rim. Height 9.5 cm, diameter 12.0 cm, capacity 750 ml. LSU No. 5675 or 5979, Museum of Geoscience.
Marksville Incised, var. Sunflower vessels. Two additional Crooks vessels exhibit variations in the use of wide-spaced incised lines. The vessel on the right may involve a broken down bird motif. Left vessel: height 5.6 cm, diameter 7.8 cm, capacity 150 ml. Right vessel: height 8.1 cm, diameter 10.9 cm, capacity 510 ml. LSU Nos. 5518 and 5526, Museum of Geoscience.
Marksville Stamped, var. Marksville vessel. A large tubby pot from the Crooks Mound illustrates the variation of early Marksville ceramic decorations. Zoned dentate rocker stamping is used to highlight a motif that could represent a stylized bird or a plant motif of some sort. The vessel is clearly early Marksville by association with the crosshatched rim. Height 17.0 cm, diameter 17.5 cm, capacity 3000 ml. LSU No. 5537, Museum of Geoscience.
Marksville Stamped, var. Old River vessel. Non-dentate zoned rocker stamping is less commonly distributed than zoned dentate rocker stamping, but generally found in early Marksville context throughout the Lower Mississippi Valley. The soft paste variety is Old River; the late Marksville improved paste variety is Troyville. An early Marksville Old River beaker from Crooks has the typical notched lip. Height 9.9 cm, diameter 10.7 cm, capacity 600 ml
Marksville lithics. The lithic technology of the Marksville period has not been studied properly. The most common lithic artifacts include lanceolate, stemmed dart points, and in early Marksville contexts, prismatic blades. Boat-shaped atlatl weights, chipped celts, and bifaces round out the Marksville tool kit. Imported greenstone celts were found at the Crooks and Trammel sites.
Prismative blade, Mansford Plantation, Madison Parish, Louisiana. One of the most diagnostic early Marksville lithic markers, the prismatic blade, is found at a variety of sites. The finest example is from surface provenience at the multicomponent Mansford Plantation site. The long, curved blade resembles Illinois Valley examples produced by the Fulton technique. It is likely that a Marksville blade-core industry was inspired by Hopewellian contac
Prismatic blades, Mandeville site, Clay County, Georgia. Other southeastern cultural systems also may have adopted, or at least been exposed to, the same blade-core industry. However, samples from Mandeville in the Chattahoochee drainage of southwestern Georgia and from Garden Creek and Icehouse Bottom in the Appalachian Summit area include specimens made of Flint Ridge chalcedony - thereby suggesting imports from the Ohio Valley. The vast majority
Vertically incised Marksville rims. Bands of rim decoration consisting of parallel incised lines are equally diagnostic of early Marksville as the more widely recognized crosshatched rims. Examples from the Marksville, Medora, and Smithfield sites are representative of this treatment. Vertically incised rims have been found on Hopewell style vessels in the Illinois Valley.
Marksville Stamped, var. Marksville vessel fragment. Some Lower Mississippi Valley early Marksville vessels may have been exported. A portion of a tubby pot found in the village excavations at Bynum in northeastern Mississippi is one example. The vessel is of normal early Marksville clay-tempered paste which is out of context in the sand-tempered ceramic assemblage at Bynum. The vessel embodies the diagnostic raptorial bird motif and a crosshatche
Marksville Incised, var. Sunflower vessel. A tubby pot with an alternately slanted rim band and a stylized version of the bird motif was recovered from the Grand Gulf Mound in the Natchez Bluffs district (Brookes 1976). The vessel is of thing, high quality paste equaled only by a few mortuary vessels at Marksville and Crooks, and at the Dickerson site. Mississippi Department of Archives and History, Clarksdale.
Churupa Puncatated, var. Hill Bayou vessel. Zoned punctates constitute another decorative treatment found in the prolific early Marksville ceramic assemblage. The decoration is used to highlight a strange "spider motif" on a small beaker from Grand Gulf. The potential of zoned punctations was utilized more fully in the late Marksville varieties Churupa and Thornton. Mississippi Department of Archives and History, Clarksdale.
Ceramic figurine, Dickerson site, Coahoma County, Mississippi. Human figurines are distributed widely throughout the eastern United States in contexts believed to date A.D. 100 to 300 (Griffin and others 1970: 82-87). In the Lower Mississippi Valley, they have been found at the Marksville, Crooks, Manny, and Dickerson sites (Toth 1977a). The best example is that of a male sitting back on his heels which was excavated in an early Marksville pit at D
Ceramic figurine, Mandeville site, Clay County, Georgia. The texture, size, and quality of the Dickerson figurine are similar to a fine female figurine from Mandeville Mound B. The Mandeville "lady" has a red-filmed skirt and arm bands, unlike the Dickerson specimen which shows no trace of painting. She is not sand-tempered like other Mandeville figurines and the local Swift Creek ceramics. Length 10.4 cm, width at shoulders 41 mm, thickness at bu