Welcome to the MPP Blog

Welcome to the blog of the Moundville Plaza Project (MPP). I’m Jera Davis and the  MPP is my dissertation project. Click here for a brief introduction to its rationale, goals, and methods.

I created this blog as way of connecting with my friends, family, academic colleagues, and the public. Over the course of the 2012 summer field season, members of the crew and I will share our findings directly with you. This way, you won’t have to visit us in the field to find out what we’ve been doing and you won’t have to wait for our publications (though doing either will indeed be worthwhile). Consider this a public forum. We happily invite all constructive comments, questions, and critiques. We will all benefit from that.

Please bookmark this page and check back regularly for updates. In the posts that follow, I will briefly review Moundville archaeology and the accomplishments of the MPP to date. We are happy to have you with us!

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10 thoughts on “Welcome to the MPP Blog

  1. Jera, I’m not sure if its a product of grass cutting, but in the aerial photograph you are using it looks like there is a smaller plaza in the right -center of the image with corners at mounds S,T, and A. Or maybe my imagination is just on overdrive this afternoon ?

    • Ned, I see what your talking about. I think it is taller grass, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Moundville’s Plaza actually encapsulates multiple plaza spaces. Once we’ve got a better handle on the mag data, I think we’ll be able to tease out a lot more detail regarding the division of that space.

      • Jim Knight sent me several arials taken through the years. Those photos taken before grass cutting season started show this same “plaza” feature.

  2. Jera, as I grew up in Moundville and have such fond memories of the mounds, I look forward with excitement to be able to hear more of my town. I grew up in the mounds in a way, Native american culture has always facinated me as I have creek, cherokee blood running in my veins. So bring it on Jera I look forward to your blogs.

  3. Jera: Love your blog and the work that you all are doing! We are from Mound City (St. Louis, of course) and charting a trip to Moundville in early July. I am wondering why the ‘corners’ of your excavations come in at a diagonal? Keep up the good work! Thanks, Jodi

    • Hi Jodi! Thanks for your kind comments. You’ll miss us if you come the first week of July (2-6), as we’ll be on break, but I’d be happy to give you a tour of the excavations if you come on any other weekday next month.

      The angled corners are called “balks.” They ensure that our long unit nails stay where they should instead of pulling out of the walls, taking portions of the profile with them. Many archaeologists get by just fine without balks, but I’m not brave enough to risk it!

  4. Jera – thanks for your time and help with the AAS Summer meeting. This blog is great – fantastic photos! I am a bit of an obsessive ‘straighten your profile wall’ excavator myself – and your photos drive home the importance – especially when it comes to interpretation. Thanks for showing us what is new at Moundville!
    Your commentary is much appreciated and a great example to prove the point that,
    in archaeology, it is NOT WHAT YOU FIND, but WHAT YOU FIND OUT!

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