Congratulations to our graduate student Caroline Watson, who recently co-authored an article in American Antiquity on socio-economic interactions of Piedmont Village Tradition communities in Southeastern North America.
This project employed lithic and ceramic analysis to understand economic and social interaction patterns among Piedmont Village Tradition communities in the upper Yadkin River Valley, North Carolina (AD 1200-1600). Her research, which grew out of a senior honors thesis, focused on how the movement of local quartz and non-local rhyolite reflected past quarrying behaviors and a wider economic exchange pattern. Specifically, she examined lithic reduction stages and compared percentage counts and weights across three sites in the upper Yadkin River Valley. She constructed fall-off curves with these data supported the identification of a gateway model for the acquisition and distribution of lithic material in this region. Watson's lithic analysis results are contextualized within the article’s broader argument that Piedmont Village Tradition communities experienced multiple levels of socioeconomic organization, primarily structured through gender and heterarchy.