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Archaeological Investigations at the Beaverdam Creek Site (9Eb85), Elbert County, Georgia

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Extensive excavations of the Mississippi period Beaverdam Creek mound and its surrounding "village" midden are summarized. The mound was constructed around A.D. 1200-1250 and is associated with the Beaverdam phase of the Savannah culture. The site appears to have been the center for a relatively simple chiefdom. Status differentiation was present, but was not exceptionally elaborate. The public building at Beaverdam Creek was originally an earthlodge, but this type of building was later replaced by a wall trench structure on a platform mound. An extremely low density of definite domestic structures in the so-called village area suggests that the permanent residential population at the site was quite small. Food remains from the site and settlement data from the reservoir indicate that the subsistence strategy during the Savannah period was generalized rather than focal. Ceramic data show that the Beaverdam phase was part of a spatial and temporal continuum of South Appalachian Mississippian ceramic development; there is no indication of abrupt stylistic change during the Mississippi period.