The Repository @ St. Cloud State

Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship

Date of Award


Culminating Project Type


Degree Name

Cultural Resources Management Archaeology: M.S.




College of Liberal Arts

First Advisor

Mark Muniz

Second Advisor

Robbie Mann

Third Advisor

John Doershuk

Fourth Advisor

Mark Anderson

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.

Keywords and Subject Headings

Oneota, Psinomani, Hybridization, Archaeology



Beginning AD 1150 and extending until European contact, the archaeological culture referred to as “Oneota” underwent an explosive spread across the American midcontinent. As Oneota ideas, people, or some combination thereof moved westward, they encountered people from other cultures. Along the western frontier of Oneota culture, evidence suggests that relations between Oneota and Plains indigenes took a variety of forms. To better understand how various environmental and cultural factors may have informed the decision-making process with regard to inter-group interaction, four sites along this western Oneota periphery were selected for analysis: Shea and Sprunk in eastern North Dakota, White Rock in north-central Kansas, and Dixon in northwest Iowa. The evidence for both inter-group contact and site function is evaluated and compared across these four sites, and ultimately synthesized with existing knowledge and theories of Oneota interaction. It is suggested that Oneota social relations may have been partially dependent on whether other groups were in competition for a similar resource base; this process allowed a relationship between Oneota and Psinomani peoples to flourish, while minimizing the possibility of positive relations with Central Plains Tradition peoples. This hypothesis offers directions for future research, including the extent of the relationship between Oneota and Psinomani peoples and the movement of commodities from western Oneota outposts to the Great Lakes and Upper Midwest regions often viewed as the Oneota heartland.



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