Date of Award

May 2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

John D. Richards

Committee Members

John D. Richards, Dawn Scher Thomae, Robert J. Sherman


This thesis elucidates Milwaukee Public Museum documentation and archival correspondence between Paul F. Titterington and William C. McKern regarding the destruction of the Powell Mound at the Cahokia site in southern Illinois. Titterington was a respected avocational archaeologist known for his work in the Mississippi Valley and McKern served as an Assistant Curator in Anthropology at the Milwaukee Public Museum during the time of the Cahokia donations. From 1927 through 1941, Titterington and McKern exchanged correspondence concerning Cahokian archaeology and the Powell Mound. During this time, Titterington donated a variety of Cahokian artifacts to the MPM including ceramics, lithics, agricultural tools, and shell artifacts. The McKern-Titterington papers contribute to the documentation of the Powell Mound acquisitions which, in turn, used to identify materials in the MPM Cahokia collections associated with the Powell Mound salvage operations. The thesis also provides an attribute-based analysis and typological characterization of the ceramic assemblage donated by Titterington.