Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Rafferty, Janet

Committee Member

Peacock, Evan

Committee Member

Hogue, Home S.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Applied Anthropology

Degree Name

Master of Arts


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work


Archaeological considerations of mobility have primarily focused on the differences in and among the kinds or degrees of mobility itself, rather than addressing the underlying issue of why human settlement patterns were or are mobile. The focus of this study is to address such questions within Darwinian evolutionary theory. Using the concepts of bet-hedging, as used in biology, and waste, as used in archaeology, it is argued that mobility was selectively favored for its population limiting properties. Relative changes in the numbers of projectile points in each assigned class, ordered chronologically by seriation, were taken to indicate relative population change over time. The results of this study suggest, primarily, that rapid, drastic population growth did not occur until the abandonment of mobility in the Gulf Formational period. This result supports the expectations of the hypothesis that was tested and indicates that in this instance mobility is a bet-hedging behavior.



paleodemography||evolutionary archaeology||waste hypothesis||prehistoric archaeology||lithic tools