Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate October 2001

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Anthropology 23 October 2001 Extra Credit The studies of mortuary practices are very interesting to me especially since I want to be Mortician. This subject is so appealing because death is so amazing, and when we die nobody knows what really happens to our souls. Death has always been a huge mystery; even since prehistoric times. The sites studied are near my hometown. I always knew that Indians once inhabited the area, but while reading this article I learned that there was a more extensive background than I had thought.

In Hogue's article he examines the burial practices, mortality rates, and diets of the aborigines living in the vicinity of Oktibbeha County, Mississippi during the prehistoric and protohistoric time periods. Most remains found were located on the Tombigbee River during the construction of two large subdivisions in Starkville, Ms. Hogue, along with other anthropologists from Mississippi State University, salvaged many of the buried remains.

Remains such as skeletons, ceramics, glass beads, and animal bones were recovered from the site. Skeletal remains were analyzed using stable carbon and nitrogen isotope testing. Urn burials were recovered from the area, along with ceramic vessels that were believed to hold ashes of the deceased, especially infants, and subadults. Radiocarbon, and historic artifact analyses of the site provided for occupation of that area from AD1450 to 1800. Several different burial methods such as primary interments, multiple burials, and urn burials. Primary burials included complete articulated skeletons. The secondary burials contained two skeletons bundled together in one grave. Four secondary multiple sites were discovered at the Rolling Hills Subdivision, and five at another site. Burials of this kind are characterized usually by stacking disarticulated long bones with the cranium placed at one end. This type of burial represents a complicated treatment of the body. Several urn...