Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Curriculum in Archaeology
This thesis examines a collection of artifacts taken from a site in Sicily Island, Louisiana
that is thought to have been the location of the historic 1731 battle between French settlers and
the Natchez Indians. The battle is thought of by many to have been the beginning of the end for
the Natchez nation and represents an important moment in the history of the Lower Mississippi
Valley. By combining cartographic, historic, and archaeological evidence, the site at Sicily
Island is shown to be the likeliest candidate for the location of the battle.
The discussion of this battle has often revolved around ambiguities within the maps of the
French campaign against the Natchez. This thesis seeks to explain these ambiguities and uses
these maps to support the idea that the Sicily Island site is the location of the battle. In addition to
this, ten burials found at the site are described in detail, with drawings of how the burials were
arranged and pictures of the artifacts found at each burial. The artifacts associated with these
burials are consistent with what one would expect as the site of the 1731 battle and are very
similar to other 18th century Natchez sites, such as the Fatherland site (Neitzel 1965).