Laura Margaret Bossio

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Michigan, Ann Arbor, U. of

Grant number

Gr. 10495

Approve Date

April 6, 2023

Project Title

Bossio, Laura (Michigan, Ann Arbor, U. of) "Interaction in the Wetlands: Late Woodland Community and Upper Mississippian Migrants at the First Rapids of the Maumee River, Ohio"

The Western Lake Erie region was home to Late Woodland people whose lifestyle included foraging and maize horticulture; they survived on the wetlands of the now-extinct Great Black Swamp, Lake Erie rivers, and freshwater marshes. But, at about AD 1250, lifeways change. People adopted a complex village lifestyle with ornate and eclectic ceramics vessels. This “Wolf phase” has significant similarities to southern Upper Mississippian Fort Ancient culture. Social processes of the Wolf phase are not understood but are anthropologically fascinating. Linguistic analysis of indigenous Central Algonquin groups shows interconnectedness throughout the Midwest. Oral histories evince separation, migration, and return to homelands. Interestingly, archaeological research shows regional migrations toward Cahokia at its heyday, with outward migrations following periods of drought in the American Bottom. Fort Ancient culture, interestingly, resulted from Mississippian migrants in the Ohio River Valley. This project, situated in collaborative research, will investigate Fort Ancient migrations northward to the Western Lake Erie region. Practicing shared decision-making with collaborative partners, the project will utilize limited fieldwork and laboratory analyses to determine if Late Woodland peoples at the First Rapids of the Maumee River resisted or incorporated the Fort Ancient migrants, resulting in either coalescence, territoriality, or violence.