Mound R1 and the problem of the minor mound at Moundville

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This project reports recent excavations of Mound R1 at Moundville. Of the 32 mounds at Moundville, fifteen are flat-topped monuments which help define the plaza; however there are several small mounds, not part of this plaza group, that have been almost completely overlooked in the history of Moundville research. Mound R1 is one of these small mounds. Mound R1 is located approximately 40 meters west of Mound R on a narrow, isolated projection of a terrace bordered by ravines. Excavations were conducted in the fall of 2011 and the summer of 2012. These excavations reveal Mound R1 to be a multi-stage platform mound constructed of clay with evidence of perishable architecture on the mound during each major episode of construction. The stratigraphy and artifact analysis reveal the same construction chronology, structure, and function as the much larger plaza periphery mounds at Moundville. Moreover, the surrounding landform exhibits an occupation history comparable to that found in other areas at Moundville. I suggest that this landform was occupied by a distinct kin-based residential group.

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