The King Site is a sixteenth century Native American village located in northwest Georgia near the city of Rome. It is, in essence, surrounded by the Coosa River, where it makes a complete meandering loop, leaving only one side of the site approachable by land. As the river, through time, flooded the site, erosion had uncovered parts of the site visible to neighboring farmers. Oddly, what was initially visible were human skeletal remains which prompted investigation and eventually archaeologists were called in to have a look. Some ten years later, they were still looking.

Covering nearly five acres, The King Site yielded valuable information about settlements in North America at the time of european contact; i.e., around 1550. Initial radio-carbon dating placed the occupation of the site between A.D. 1410 and 1830 but was later narrowed down to a period between 1550 and 1725. Besides over 200 burials, postmolds remained which indicated both defensive fences, known as palisades, and habitational structures. Structures appeared to be of a rectangular shape and appeared on one side, while ceremonial buildings and a plaza were on another side. In between were burials.

Over 200 skeletons were excavated by the University of Georgia and Georgia State University and Bioanthropological research was conducted under the supervision of Professor Robert Blakely. Findings were obviously too great for this profile, but exhaustive research was done in many and varied areas including diet and nutritional stress, subsistence, sex roles, battle casualties, artificial cranial deformation, the discovery of a DeSoto sword, and evidence of a massacre.

The discovery of European artifacts on the site and the subsequent manufacturing dates of those goods further narrowed the occupation of the site to a time period between 1535 and 1570. Coincidentally, three major expeditions by European explorers roamed through this area of the southeast between 1539 and 1600. These expeditions included Hernando DeSota's (1539-1543), Tristan de Luna's (1559-1561) and Juan Pardo's (1566-1568). There are also indications that other waring factors between local tribes could be responsible for the nature of the defensive structure of the site and the casualties found some four hundred years later.


Sources:
The King Site. 1988. Edited by Robert Blakely
Biocultural Adaptation in Prehistoric America. 1977. Edited by Robert Blakely

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