Ed Jackson

Professor of Anthropology and Chair

(Ph.D. University of Michigan, 1986)

Research Interests
Prehistory of the Southeastern United States. My research and teaching area of specialization is the prehistory of the southeastern United States, particularly in subsistence practices, ritual integration, and political and economic organization of middle range societies ranging from the Middle Archaic to Mississippian Period. I am particularly interested in exploring how prehistoric animal use reflects economic as well as social organization in these societies. Extensive local fieldwork in collaboration with my graduate students has produced significant advances in our understanding of the prehistory of southeast Mississippi. In addition to my own research efforts and teaching responsibilities, I am editor for the Mississippi Archaeological Association, publisher of Mississippi Archaeology.

Prehistoric Subsistence. A central research concern is the reconstruction of prehistoric subsistence patterns, in particular animal use. My zooarchaeological research includes not only environmental parameters affecting subsistence strategies but also the cultural rules that dictate patterns of animal procurement and consumption, particularly in the context of ritual activities. An important aspect of this research has focused on the zooarchaeological record of the Moundville chiefdom. Susan Scott and I recently finished analyzing faunal samples from elite mound contexts at Moundville, which along with assemblages from two Moundville-phase farmsteads, the Grady Bilbo site (1TU66) and the Gilliam site (1TU904), have illuminated both economic and ritual aspects of animal use in this prehistoric chiefdom. Extending this inquiry into faunal use in prehistoric chiefdoms is ongoing analysis of two Caddo sites in southwest Arkansas, the Martin site, a prehistoric farmstead, and the multi mound Grandview site. Other recent zooarchaeological investigations include the Middle Woodland Marksville site and the Middle Archaic Watson Brake site both in Louisiana, and with Susan Scott, collections from several Chickasaw sites in the Tupelo area, excavated by WPA and National Park Service archaeologists.

Winterville Mounds. In 2005, in the context of teaching the Southern Miss field school and in cooperation with the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, I began excavating at the Winterville Mounds, one of the major Mississippian centers in the Lower Mississippi Valley. Research there will focus on the nature and variety of activities that took place on and near the mounds by documenting architecture on the mound summits and recovering refuse related to mound use. It will also document the extent and nature of off-mound residential areas of the site. A multi-year excavation project is envisioned at Winterville.

Archaeology of the Southern Gulf Coastal Plain. Southern Miss’s location lends itself to ongoing research focusing on prehistoric lifeways of the southern Gulf coastal plain, particularly southeast Mississippi. Archaeological field schools, several CRM projects, and especially graduate student research have considerably furthered our understanding of prehistoric chronology and cultural trends in the area. A number of Southern Miss anthropology theses, including ones by Rita Fields, Michael Dunn, Phillip Hodge and Scot Keith, have contributed to our notions about prehistoric hunter-gatherer settlement and technological organization in the area.

Archaeology and Public Policy. Cultural resource management provides the primary source of employment of graduate level archaeologists. It is the goal of the graduate program to train students in the practical and well as the scientific aspects of archaeology. Courses provide the student with exposure to archaeological theory from an anthropological perspective, prehistoric and historic archaeology and culture history, analytical methods, and the legal basis and logistics of CRM archaeology.

Dissertation
Sedentism and Hunter-Gatherer Adaptations in the Lower Mississippi Valley: Subsistence Strategies during the Poverty Point Period. Department of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. (1986)

Publications

2011    Investigations at the Conly Site, A Middle Archaic Period Settlement in Northwest Louisiana. Louisiana Archaeology (J. S. Girard, N. Heller, J. P. Dering, S. L. Scott, H. E. Jackson, G. L. Stringer

2010    Zooarchaeology of  Moundville’s Elite. Mound Excavations at Moundville: Architecture, Elites, and Social Order, edited by Vernon J Knight, pp. 326-347. University of Alabama Press. (H. E. Jackson and S. L. Scott).

2009    An Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Remote Sensing in the Pine Hills Region of Mississippi. Mississippi Archaeology 41(2): 137-165 (for 2006) (H.E. Jackson, B. Haley, and R. McCarty).

2008    Prehistoric Faunal Exploitation in the Lower Mississippi Valley. In Time's River: Archaeological Syntheses in the Yazoo Basin and Lower Mississippi River Valley, edited by E. Peacock and J. Rafferty, pp. 274-298.  University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa.

2008    Measuring Chickasaw Adaptation to a Changing Frontier During the Early 18th Century Using Ethnohistory and the Restudy of Archived Site Collections. Southeastern Archaeology 27(1): 1-30. (J.K. Johnson, J. W. O’Hear, R. Ethridge, B.R. Lieb, S. L. Scott and H.E. Jackson).

2008    Archaeology and History of the Pierre Robleau Household and Bayou Pierre Community: Perspectives on Rural Society and Economy in Northwestern Louisiana at the Time of the Freeman and Custis Expedition.  The Freeman and Custis Red River Expedition of 1806: Two Hundred Years Later, edited by Laurence M. Hardy, pp.147-180. Bulletin of the Museum of Life Sciences Volume 14 (J. S. Girard, R. Vogel, and H. E. Jackson).

Courses Taught
ANT 101. Introduction to Anthropology
ANT 331. Survey of Archaeological Methods
ANT 433/533. Prehistoric Southeastern Indians
ANT 435/535. Archaeological Field Methods
ANT 431/531. Advanced Prehistoric Analysis
ANT 437/537. Heritage Resources and Public Policy
ANT 631. Graduate Seminar in Archaeology

Resources Available
Archaeology Lab
Physical Anthropology Lab
Research & Teaching Collections (Mississippi, Eastern North America)
Zooarchaeology Reference Collection
Scanning Electron Microscope (at Polymer Science)