Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Elizabeth B. Garland

Second Advisor

Dr. Robert Sundick

Third Advisor

Dr. William Cremin

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Carbonized macrobotanical remains from the Schwerdt Site, an Upper Mississippian sturgeon fishery in the Lower Kalamazoo River Valley are identified and analyzed in terms of their implications for localized subsistence-settlement systems operating during the Berrien Phase in southwestern Michigan. The exploitation of wild plant foods at this limited-activity, spring sturgeon fishery and the environmental composition of the site environs are reconstructed from their representation in flotation samples derived from excavated feature and midden contexts.

Botanical data indicate a strong wetland-aquatic orientation in plant procurement, with aquatic tubers being the primary plant resource exploited at the site. Data from several sites of comparable age and cultural affiliation reveal a similar orientation toward seasonal usage of aquatic habitats by Late Prehistoric occupants of the eastern Lake Michigan littoral.