Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Peacock, Evan

Committee Member

Rafferty, Janet

Committee Member

Herrmann, Nicholas

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Applied Anthropology

Degree Name

Master of Arts


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Anthropology and Middle Eastern Cultures


This thesis investigates historic settlement pattern changes during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries through shifting scales of selection derived from evolutionary theory. Artifacts from 65 archaeological sites were used to establish mean dates, site function, and duration of occupation. Geographic Information Systems analysis of these data and related historical records was used to investigate success and failure of farmsteads. Settlements in the study area developed over time from a rural, subsistence-based pattern of isolated farmsteads, to one including local communities with specialist professions, to a more specialized, market-driven urban settlement pattern. The results show that market-oriented agricultural strategies, like cotton farming and beef production, along with the development of peripheral urban economic centers led to the development and abandonment of rural farmsteads in Kemper and Lauderdale counties. These shifts occurred rapidly, indicating that they were the result of selection acting on entire settlement/subsistence systems and at various scales over time.

Spatial Coverage

Kemper County, Mississippi||Lauderdale county, Mississippi

Temporal Coverage