Scott Bierly received his B.A. in geography from the University of South Florida and M.A. in Applied Anthropology at Mississippi State University in 2008.
He is the district archaeologist for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Pittsburgh, PA.
Major Professor: Evan Peacock
Prehistoric cultures are often studied by intrasite artifact variation and quantity without much consideration of how prehistoric populations interacted locally and regionally. Archaeologists can identify and study patterns associated with activities within a specified radius in order to gain an understanding of cultural operations. Identifying a social framework for a prehistoric society allows the investigation of group organization such as status differentiation, shared rituals, and the construction and maintenance of earthworks and living areas. That facilities were constructed for specialized use within a community is evidenced by the presence of earthworks and mounds at many sites (Lewis et al. 1998:16-17). Less well understood is how community patterns reflect social organization.
The purpose of this thesis is to better document the number and distribution of structures at Lyon’s Bluff, a Mississippian to Protohistoric-period mound site in Oktibbeha County, Mississippi. The focus will be on the last part of the occupation at the site, i.e., on materials recovered from the plowzone. A method employing molluscan remains and sedimentological evidence is used that allows for the delineation of structure locales using plowzone samples. Additional evidence is provided by artifact distributions and geophysical (magnetic gradiometer) data.