Time Period and Culture AD 1350-1541 Late Mississippian Period Nodena Phase -Villages in southeastern Missouri and easternArkansas -Extensive maize agriculture -Pottery -Spanish artifacts
Background Site was partially excavated by amateur archaeologist Leo O. Anderson and Professor Carl Chapman from 1954-1968 At least 14 other Late Mississippian sites have been discovered along or near the Pemiscot bayou. Some sites are just a mile or two away from Campbell. The village was probably no bigger than 40 acres and most likely around 5 acres big based on the distribution of surface artifacts found.
Features Mound Louis Houck in his 1908 book “A History of Missouri” claimed the mound was 150 ft long, 75ft wide, and 15 feet high. Chapman and Anderson talked to a local who told them that the mound was much smaller length and width wise, and was only 10 feet high.
Features Cemetery 218 Skeletons were excavated by Anderson Many were found in burial pits Skeletons were found in clusters, possibly family burials
Artifacts Spanish Artifacts Anderson found an iron knife blade and glass beads in two of the burials. Most of the Spanish items from the site were found by relic hunters in the 1970s. Several Chevron beads and Clarksdale bells were found.
Artifacts Significance of Spanish objects More Spanish artifacts were found at the Campbell site than any other site in the region. The villagers from this site could have possibly had contact with Hernando de Soto, the Spanish explorer who arrived in the region around 1541. Since burials were found with Spanish objects, this proves that people were still being buried there up until at least the 1540s
Artifacts Lithic 186 triangular Madison points 147 Nodena points 1 Scallorn point 115 “snub-nose” scrapers All of these tools are indicative of the Late Mississippian period
Artifacts Pottery 254 ceramic vessels were recovered by Anderson. Thousands of vessels were found at the site which are in private collections. Most of the burials on the site were associated with vessels. A wide array of forms including jars, bowls, and bottles have been found.
Artifacts Pottery Sherds of almost every type of Late Mississippian pottery were found at Campbell, including Nodena red-and-white, Parkin punctated, Ranch incised, and Vernon Paul appliqued.
Artifacts Pottery Campbell punctated, Campbell incised, and Campbell appliqued were three new styles of decoration found at the site and named by Anderson and Chapman. These three types are great Late Mississippian markers and are only found in Pemiscot county, extreme northern Arkansas, and extreme western Tennessee.
Artifacts Pottery 24 head pots have been found at Campbell.
Artifacts Significance of Pottery Very skilled in ceramic manufacture Ceramics were important to them since they were found associated with burials. Also because of the abundance of elaborately decorated vessels. The animal effigy bowls and head pots show that ceramics may have been used for ceremonial and religious purposes, not just for utilitarian purposes.
Conclusion Campbell is an excellent example of a Late Mississippian period village. It is a significant site because more Spanish artifacts were found there than any site in the region. It is also significant because of the number of elaborately made ceramic vessels that have been found at the site.References citedChapman, Carl H. and Leo O. Anderson 1955 The Campbell Site: A Late Mississippi town siteand cemetery in Southeast Missouri. Missouri Archaeologist 17(2-3).O’Brien, Michael J. and W. Raymond Wood 1998 The Prehistory of Missouri. Universityof Missouri press, Columbia.http://users.stlcc.edu/mfuller/Campbell.html