Use of pottery grows and takes on many forms, functions, and decorative treatments

Illustration of women making pottery
Illustration of women making pottery

The use of pottery for storage containers and cooking vessels combined with further plant domestication of starchy seed-bearing plants (not yet corn), led to a more sedentary existence and the development of villages.

Hunting, fishing, and gathering continue to be important as sources of food and other necessities

Illustration of hunting, gathering, and fishing
Illustration of hunting, gathering, and fishing

The introduction of the bow and arrow lead to an increase in population

Illustration of bow and arrow use
Illustration of bow and arrow use

Trade and regional contact increases

A culture known as the Hopewell of the Illinois and Ohio area introduced a focus on burial mounds and elite trade goods. While there are few artifacts in Mississippi that can be directly traced to this region, their ideas influenced Middle Woodland cultures across the Southeast. Use of burial mounds and mortuary practices that include elite trade goods during this time show increased inequality among individuals within societies as compared to earlier periods. (Smith 1996).

Ceremonialism increases and the trait of burying the dead in mounds becomes widespread

Flat-topped ceremonial mounds, such as the Batesville Mounds in Panola County, appear. Elaborate burials, such as log tombs with earthen mounds atop them, were built. Bynum Mounds in Chickasaw County is an example of this.

Monumental earthworks constructed

Many of them represented geometric shapes and animal effigies, while others served as enclosures. The Jackson Landing site in Hancock County contains an earthwork that was possibly used as an enclosure.

Decorated pottery designs include cord-marking , fabric-marking, stamping, and incised, or punctuated, lines

Cord and fabric designs were created by paddling the wet clay surface of the vessel with a paddle or stick wrapped in cord or fabric. Stamping was achieved by carving a design directly onto a wooden paddle and then paddling the wet clay surface of the vessel. Incised lines were achieved by using a sharply pointed instrument to make various designs in the wet clay of the vessel.