by Kathleen M. Foley Winkler
Abstract of Doctoral Dissertation
Department of Anthropology
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
The following dissertation is a comparative analysis of mortuary practices displayed by two archaeological cultures: Oneota and Langford. The Oneota Tradition is a manifestation of Upper Mississippian concentrated in Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Iowa and Minnesota that lasted from approximately AD 1050-1450, while the Langford Tradition is concentrated in northeast Illinois, and lasted from approximately A.D. 1100-1450. Previous research identified two broad burial programs for Developmental Horizon Oneota in southeast Wisconsin (Foley Winkler 2004). This dissertation expands upon the preceding study by incorporating additional data from southeast Wisconsin and data from Oneota and Langford sites in northeast Illinois.
Burial data are used to make inferences about the social, political, and economic structures represented by Langford and Oneota archaeological cultures. In particular, culture contact, boundary maintenance and violence across the northern edge of the Prairie Peninsula are examined using mortuary and related data among the sites. Analysis was conducted on the burial practices and skeletal remains from the Crescent Bay Hunt Club, Schmeling, Wild Rose Mounds, Calumetville, Walker-Hooper, Pipe and Zimmerman sites, and using literature on the Carcajou Point, Gentleman Farm, Robinson Reserve, Oakwood Mound, Material Service Quarry, and Hoxie Farm sites.
It was expected that 1. The mortuary programs for Oneota were different from those of Langford 2. Oneota in Wisconsin were settled in a more stable political and social milieu as contrasted with the marked conflict and violence associated with Langford sites; and 3. Oneota society was more egalitarian than Langford. The results demonstrate that Oneota and Langford mortuary programs do vary, however variation appears greater between all the sites than between the two cultures. Distinctions in burial programs reflect cultural variation which is correlated with regional environmental adaptations within the larger Prairie Peninsula. Both Oneota and Langford exhibit egalitarian socio-political structures and violence appears localized at sites in Illinois rather than widespread across the region.