A formal and functional analysis on the ceramic rims of the Little Midden site (8BR1933) : an identification of site function


Discovered on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the Little Midden site (8BR1933) is an archaeological site on the coast of the Indian River Culture Area. Previous research in this poorly-understood culture area has identified three types of sites: habitation sites, procurement camps, and single episodes sites. Along the Indian River Culture Area's coast, almost all of the archaeological sites have proven to be procurement camps. While the preliminary analysis of the Little Midden site's assemblage suggested that it, like other coastal sites, was a procurement camp, finds such as imported sherds, ochre, and lithics, indicated that it may have been a habitation site. The focus of this thesis is to test the hypothesis that the Little Midden site was a habitation site, as defined by previous researchers.

A formal and functional analysis was undertaken on the 154 ceramic rims from the Little Midden site in order to determine the site's function. Models based on archaeological data, ethnohistoric data, and archaeological analogies were created to develop expected characteristics of a ceramic assemblage for each type of site. Tests of diversity, tests that analyze the size of the site's cooking vessels, and an examination that tests the continuity of use at the site were utilized to determine which model the Little Midden site's assemblage best fit. The ceramic results were equivocal. In many ways the Little Midden site's ceramic assemblage met the expectations for a habitation site. However, in other aspects the Little Midden site's ceramic assemblage better fit the expectations developed for a procurement camp. Although this is true, additional data from the site's faunal assemblage suggests that the site was a seasonal procurement camp during the spring and summer months. Combining the ceramic and faunal data, the Little Midden site seems to reflect a large procurement site that was occupied year-after-year to exploit the marine resources, which differs from the inconsistent occupations of other procurement camps. These results demonstrate that previous classifications of site function in the Indian River Culture Area do not describe the full range of human subsistence and settlement behaviors that have been documented archaeologically.


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Thesis Completion





Barber, Sarah B.


Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)


College of Sciences

Degree Program



Arts and Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic;Dissertations, Academic -- Arts and Sciences







Access Status

Open Access

Length of Campus-only Access


Document Type

Honors in the Major Thesis

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