The Slate Site: A Poverty Point Lapidary Industry in the Southern Yazoo Basin, Mississippi

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Author: Lauro, James and Geoffrey Lehmann

Year: 1982

Publisher: Mississippi Department of Archives and History

Place: Jackson


vi+69 pages with maps, figures and plates. Quarto (11" x 8 1/2") issued in wrappers. Archaeological Report number 7. First edition.

The Slate site is located within the neck of a large meander loop within the Stage 4 meander belt of the Mississippi River in Humphreys County, Mississippi. Three components have been identified indicating occupation during the Poverty Point, Baytown and Historic periods. Archaeological investigations at the site included controlled surface collections, auger tests to depth of up to 3.8 meters, and the excavation of a single test pit. The Poverty Point component is the result of special activities focused upon the production of lapidary items principally from slate, but including other materials such as quartz crystals, quartz, bauxite, and barrel-shaped beads, effigies, and miniatures. Other artifacts diagnostic of the Poverty Point culture included micro-tools and cores, a consistent variety of projectile points and other chipped stone implements, boat stones, pendants, perforated gorgets, pitted stones, and plummets. Baked clay Poverty Point objects have not been found at this site. The artifact assemblage and geomorphological data suggests an occupation relatively late in the Poverty Point period. The lack of data on the Poverty Point occupation within the Yazoo Basin renders interpretation somewhat speculative, but the existence of a special activity site devoted to the production of non-utilitarian items from a variety of exotic materials may indicate a relatively complex form of sociopolitical organization with increasing autonomy and less reliance upon interaction with broader Poverty Point complex in the Lower Mississippi Valley.


A near fine copy.

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