Ocmulgee Old Fields near Macon, Georgia, is the site of a Lower Creek village and associated English trading house dating from the late 17th and early 18th centuries. It was excavated in the early 1930s as part of a WPA project directed by A. R. Kelly, which focused primarily on the major Mississippian temple mounds of Macon Plateau. The specific data for the Old Fields was not analyzed until nearly 30 years after the excavation. Part of the significance of this site lies in its secure identification with a known group of people and the linkage of those people with recognizable archaeological remains. The Old Fields site was among the very first for which this kind of identification was possible and stands at the head of a continuing tradition of historic sites archaeology in the Southeast. Carol I. Mason's classic study of the Ocmulgee Old Fields site has been a model for contact-period Indian archaeology since the 1960s. The report includes a discussion of the historic setting and an analysis of the archaeological materials with an identification of the Lower Creek town and possibly of the English trader who lived there. Now, for the first time, the reports is widely available in book form. With a new foreword by the author and a new introduction from Southeastern archaeology expert Marvin T. Smith, readers have the benefit of a contemporary view of this very fine plece of careful scholarship. ""Mason's work significantly advanced Creek archaeology in general and the archaeology of European-Indian contact studies in particular. She combined excellent historical research with archaeological analysis, yielding a historical archaeological synthesis that was groundbreaking for the emerging discipline of historical archaeology...Her description of the European trading post and analysis of aboriginal features intruding this European feature are extremely detailed. She was able to document Native use of the trading post area by the Creeks after the post was abandoned."" - from the new Introduction
Carol I. Mason is Adjunct Professor of Archaeology at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin, and author of Wisconsin Indians: Prehistory to Statehood. Marvin T. Smith is Professor of Anthropology at Valdosta State University and coauthor of Coosa: The Rise and Fall of a Southeastern Mississippian Chiefdom.