Q6. Did the people of Tchefuncte have political or religious leaders?


The people may have had leaders, though, if they did, they did not leave behind any evidence of it. Burials at the site were all simple. Everyone was surrounded by broken pots, bone tools, left over food, and stone spear tips. Archaeologists might expect a leader's burial to be different from the others. Perhaps this burial would be marked by a burial mound, or contain special items placed with the dead, such as fancy pots or decorated bone objects, that would symbolize the person's importance.


Q7. Why were some of the bodies bundled and possibly reburied at the site?


People may have only buried the dead at the site during certain times of the year. If people did not pass away during these special times, the living may have had to bury them elsewhere until it was the burial season. The two kinds of burials at the site could also reflect different cultural traditions for honoring the dead.


Q8. How did people learn to make ceramic, stone and bone tools?


Sometimes archaeologists find stone or bone tools or ceramics that are flawed or not quite right. These things may exhibit visible mistakes in how they were made. These things may have been left behind by people who were first learning how to make ceramics or construct tools.


Q9. Why was shell mining permitted on the site if it ended up destroying Midden B?


In the1930s and 1940s, there were few laws in the U.S. to protect archaeological sites. Since then, however, the state and federal governments have passed laws that offer greater protection for archaeological sites. The sort of damage the Tchefuncte site suffered still occurs at sites sometimes, but now archaeologists have legal tools to help save those sites.

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