I have been fortunate to be able to do research at the famous Kolomoki site in southern Georgia off and on for the last twenty years. I began research at Kolomoki for my dissertation from the University of Georgia, with assistance from the National Geographic Society. Framing the research in terms of a practice-oriented approach that had then only recently been defined by Timothy Pauketat as “historical processualism,” I interpreted mound building and mortuary ceremony at Kolomoki as embodiments of traditions that simultaneously constrained and enabled emerging differences in status and power. My dissertation was published in 2003 by the University of Alabama Press under the title Kolomoki: Settlement, Ceremony, and Status in the Deep South, AD 350 to 750.
I have been back to Kolomoki for follow up research, some of which was again funded by the National Geographic Society. Perhaps the most substantial was research conducted on the southernmost, privately-owned portion of the site with former students (now professional archaeologists and colleagues) Marty Menz and Shawn West (shown in the picture to far right and second from left, respectively). This research has produced a number of peer-reviewed articles. In addition, I have worked with friend and colleague Dr. Jared Wood (Georgia Southern University) to conduct terrestrial LiDAR scanning of several of Kolomoki’s earthworks.
Liz Southard troweling a feature in the "South Village" area at Kolomoki.