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Georgia Journal of Science

Article Title

EVALUATION OF MISSISSIPPIAN PERIOD HUNTING PRACTICES IN GEORGIA**

Abstract

Humans have been hunting for hundreds of thousands of years. It is only during the last 10,000 years that agriculture first appeared but even with the domestication of plants hunting for protein has always been desired by groups all over the word. In the Southeastern United States, hunting and plant cultivation co-occurred from the Late Archaic (2500-1000 BC) period onwards. It is not until the Mississippian period (AD 1000-1530) that maize agriculture comes to dominate the diet. It is during this time that hunting supplements the diet of Mississippian peoples. This research will examine how hunting was integrated into the diet of these peoples, given the reliance of maize. Two prehistoric sites will be utilized in the research: The Upper Dabbs Site located in Cartersville, Georgia and the Traversant Site located in Pine Mountain, Georgia. Each site offers a different environmental and ecological habitat for Mississippian peoples. The Traversant Site is situated within the Chattahoochee River Valley below the Fall Line and the Upper Dabbs Site is situated within the Etowah River Valley above the Fall Line. While each region may contain similar animal resources their acquisition may differ due to a number of factors, from environmental and ecological to hunting strategies. This research seeks to understand what prey were available to prehistoric hunters at Traversant and Upper Dabbs and the methods and techniques they used to acquire protein for their diet. A thorough study of catchment areas, topographic features, ecological zones, different types and sizes of prey, and hunting equipment will be examined. Hunting equipment included will be a bow and arrow, knife or projectile point to copy the same methods of using weapons to hunt prey. The research hopes to assess the successfulness of hunters during the Mississippian period. The research is not completed until May.

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