Keith Baca

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Keith Baca received his B.A. in Anthropology from Mississippi State University in 1983.  Following graduate coursework at Louisiana State University, Keith worked as an archaeologist with the Mississippi Department of Archives and History for several years.  He also has worked as an archaeologist with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Mississippi.  He received his M.A. in Applied Anthropology at MSU in 2008, and in that same year joined the staff of the Cobb Institute of Archaeology, MSU as a Staff Archaeologist and Curator of Research Collections.

Major Professor: Janet Rafferty

Distinctive Marksville-style pottery is characteristic of the Middle Woodland period (200 B.C. – A.D. 500) in the Lower Mississippi River Valley and adjacent regions. Marksville material is common in the Lower Mississippi Valley, and the scarcity of similar pottery in northeastern Mississippi and western Alabama has caused claims that Marksville pots were imported into those areas; however, they may have been locally made. To test these alternative possibilities, the elemental composition of some Marksville-style potsherds, other pottery, and clays from various archaeological sites spanning the above regions was characterized using laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry. The results show that the analyzed Marksville-style pottery shares similar elemental profiles with locally common wares and local clays in the sample, allowing the conclusion that all of these Marksville specimens were made in the regions where they were found.


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