2011 An investigation of the origins of variation in perishable architecture at Jonathan Creek. Southeastern Archaeology30(2):311–336
The Jonathan Creek site in Kentucky was excavated in the early 1940s in an effort to uncover the community plan of an entire Mississippian town and mound center. Although the project terminated prematurely, the remnants of 89 structures representing a diverse array of architectural foundation styles were documented. Quantitative and qualitative analyses of multiple attributes, such as posthole diameter and spacing, wall-trench width and depth, roof supports, and floor area, are necessary to adequately parse the variation in architectural style, construct inferences about the above- ground appearance of buildings, and suggest origins for the diverse construction methods used at the site. At least some of the distinctive differences in foundation preparation would have resulted in diversity in the appearance of finished buildings. Time is not wholly adequate to explain this diversity. Technological and functional choices made by the ancient builders account for some of this variation, while social, genealogical, and ethnic differences, and possibly distinctive ritual customs and traditions among the resi- dents, explain other sources of variation.