University of Memphis Magazine
University of Memphis Photo
Summer 09 Features

SUMMER 2009 HOME PAGE

Taking care of business
A point to prove
Clearing some space
Operation smile
Tapping your potential
Game play


More Links
Newsbits
Sportsbit: U of M Soccer
The Columns: Alumni Review
Noteworthy Happenings

For More Information:

Video: Click here to see a video of
the dig.

U of M UPDATE Feature: To read a longer version of the article, click here.

Move over Indiana Jones
U of M students at the archaelogical dig at the Ames Plantation in Somerville, Tenn.
U of M students at the archaelogical dig at the Ames Plantation in Somerville, Tenn.

The U of M’s earth sciences department unearthed an Indian village during their month-long archaeology field camp this summer in Somerville, Tenn. At the Ames Plantation, the find included ceremonial mounds and eight to nine houses surrounded by a defensive wall. The settlement dates back to 1100 A.D., known as the Mississippian period.

The discovery is important because it reveals people’s living habitation at the time.

“One hypothesis was that these mounds were ceremonial centers where people gathered and then dispersed back to their farmsteads,” said Dr. Andrew Mickelson, project director and assistant professor of earth sciences in the College of Arts & Sciences.

This find proved otherwise by being a large, permanent settlement.

Archaeologists had visited the site since the 1960s, but were unable to find anything of significance. The U of M discovery is due in large part to a new, $20,000 piece of equipment, a magnetometer.

“With the magnetometer, we’re able to survey a large area, almost five acres in three or four days,” said Mickelson. “This gave us a complete picture of what was buried beneath the surface without having to dig. Through traditional excavation means, this would take decades.”

Click here to see a video of the dig.

— by Sara Hoover

Text Only | Print | Got a Question? Ask TOM | Contact Us | Memphis, TN 38152 | 901/678-2000 | Copyright 2013 University of Memphis | Important Notice | Last Updated: 
                       
Last Updated: 1/23/12