Death, Disease, and Violence at the Prehistoric site of Angel Mounds
This presentation, based on Erica Ausel's doctoral research, will discuss traumatic events and biological health stressors which affected the people of Angel Mounds as well as the results of recent collaborative biological research on the Mississippian period.
The Mississippian period (AD 1000-1500) is known as a tumultuous era when wide-sweeping changes occurred across North America’s Midwest and Southeast. Archaeological research has shown abrupt modifications in religion, cultural practices, material culture, and ways-of-life. Collaboration between physical anthropologists and archaeologists has shed additional light on how the Mississippian period affected the every-day-lives of Mississippian people. At the Angel site, new chronological models have suggested a pulse of intense Mississippianization began circa AD 1050, but peaked between AD 1300 and 1450.
Erica is a doctoral candidate in Indiana University’s Department of Anthropology. Trained under Dr. Della C. Cook, her research focus is human paleopathology, specifically biological stress and trauma in the prehistoric North American Midwest. Her current research is investigating the paleopathology of the Angel site, a Mississippian community located on the Ohio River in Southwestern Indiana.