All of the
artifacts that have been described from the Jaketown site are thought to be
from the Poverty Point occupation of the site.
Radiocarbon dating has set all of these items in the 1500 to 600 B.C.
range, which is around the time Jaketown was under the Poverty Point culture
influence. The materials for all of
these artifacts came from a variety of sources although much of the material
was local. Other sources for the
material included the Ouachita Mountains, the Ohio Valley, the Tennessee River,
and southeastern Missouri. The only
main difference between Jaketown and other typical Poverty Point sites is in
the number and type of point artifacts found.
The Pontchartrain points are much more common in Jaketown while Gary
points are more dominant in other Yazoo Basin sites. And Ellis points that are also common in many Poverty Point sites
are very rare in Jaketown. The other
types of artifacts found at the Jaketown site are fairly similar to what is
found at the other Poverty Point sites.
Although the jasper items from the lapidary industry are fairly unique
to Poverty Point representative sites.
All of the items
collected at the Jaketown site present evidence that the site was occupied for
a good amount of time by a Poverty Point culture and the differences discovered
are not enough to discredit this idea.
Certain differences between sites are to be expected to location and
other factors. In fact the Jaketown
site is one of the most well represented Poverty Point site located in the
Yazoo Basin. Many of the materials used
in the construction of objects and tools lend strong support that Jaketown had
a very strong level of trade. The
novaculite and some chert were from the Ouachitas and from Tennessee, while the
materials used in the lapidary industry were also imported. This clearly indicates that trade played an
important role in the lives of Poverty Point culture populations.
Although these materials were originally
just used for ordinary tools and objects, over time the materials gained
through trade came to be used to make tools or items that represented a higher
status. These objects made from
imported materials were also of higher quality and were thus less common than
the objects made from the readily abundant local materials. The trade network established at Jaketown
and other Poverty Point sites had more significance than just supplying
materials for construction of tools and other objects. It helped develop and stimulate a large
social organization between different sites and people as well as unifying
different regions of the Poverty Point area.
Trade also provided a means of sharing information and innovations that
any one group of people may have discovered and thus helped advance the Poverty
Point culture in many ways. The Poverty
Point site and the Jaketown site probably were involved in trade with each
other fairly often. The Poverty Point
site most likely served as a gateway to the Ouachitas for Jaketown and is how
the Jaketown site got much of the imported materials used in construction of
tools and other objects. It is these
types of connections between Poverty Point sites that helped develop the
Poverty Point culture and is the reason trade became such an important
enterprise for the Poverty Point and Jaketown sites along with many other
Poverty Point culture sites.