Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Robert J. Jeske
John Richards, Patricia Richards, Lindsay McHenry, David Overstreet
The time between A. D. 1050 – 1400 is a period of dynamic cultural change in the
Western Great Lakes region. During this time period in eastern Wisconsin three distinct
and contemporary cultural groups are present: Oneota, Middle Mississippian, and Late
Woodland. Many studies have focused on the origins, presence and interaction between
these groups. Six Oneota pottery assemblages from three geospatially distinct localities in
eastern Wisconsin are examined: Koshkonong, Grand River, and Waupaca localities.
Pottery assemblages from two sites in each locality were selected for comparison to
determine interlocality social, political, and economic interaction. Ceramic attribute and
compositional analyses were conducted and the results utilized to identify and
characterize the amount of variation between the ceramic assemblages. Compositional
analyses consisted of portable energy dispersive X-ray flourcesnce (ED-XRF) and
Three theoretical interaction models, World-Systems Analysis, Peer Polity
Interaction, and Tribalization, are discussed and evaluated as possible models for Oneota
interaction. These interaction models examine the roles and level of economic, political,
and social interaction through trade, coersive force (military), and transmission of social
and ideological information between groups.
The results of the analysis indicate both the creation of identity markers within
localities and interaction between localities. The data indicates that some groups
interacted more than others. Grooved paddle surface treatment in the Koshkonong
locality, crimping of the lip of vessels in the Waupaca and Grand River localities, and
variations in decorative motifs demonstrate that the localities used these markers for
group identity. The ceramic petrographic analysis indicates that the groups shared
knowledge of pottery manufacturing with similar percentages of matrix, sand, and temper
in the recipe. The ED-XRF analysis indicates that pottery from the Bornick site is more
similar to pottery from sites in the Waupaca locality, while the pottery from the Walker-
Hooper site is more similar to pottery from sites in the Koshkonong locality.
During this time, the Oneota groups in eastern Wisconsin practiced patrilocal
post-marital residence patterns suggesting that women moved from their family’s to their
husband's residence, bringing their knowledge of pottery making with them. Social and
political alliances through interlocality marriages took place based on the presence of
group identity markers on pottery from one locality seen on vessels in another. Kinship
(fictive and real) relationships between localities were created from these alliances that
assisted in maintaining territorial boundaries and leadership positions to generate socialsurplus
to gain prestige and provided means of assistance in times of scarcity.
Materials supporting the research and referenced in the text of the dissertation are
included in appendices found in the table of contents. The appendices are contained
within four supplementary files. The first supplementary file contains Appendices A and
B. The second supplementary file is Appendix C. The third supplementary file is
Appendix D. The fourth supplementary file contains Appendices E-K.
Schneider, Seth Allen, "Oneota Ceramic Production and Exchange: Social, Economic, and Political Interactions in Eastern Wisconsin Between A. D. 1050 - 1400" (2015). Theses and Dissertations. 920.