In this Book

Signs of Power
summary

Traces the sources of power and large-scale organization of prehistoric peoples among Archaic societies.

By focusing on the first instances of mound building, pottery making, fancy polished stone and bone, as well as specialized chipped stone, artifacts, and their widespread exchange, this book explores the sources of power and organization among Archaic societies. It investigates the origins of these technologies and their effects on long-term (evolutionary) and short-term (historical) change.

The characteristics of first origins in social complexity belong to 5,000- to 6,000-year-old Archaic groups who inhabited the southeastern United States. In Signs of Power, regional specialists identify the conditions, causes, and consequences that define organization and social complexity in societies. Often termed "big mound power," these considerations include the role of demography, kinship, and ecology in sociocultural change; the meaning of geometry and design in sacred groupings; the degree of advancement in stone tool technologies; and differentials in shell ring sizes that reflect social inequality.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Frontmatter
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-vi
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  1. Figures
  2. pp. vii-x
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  1. Tables
  2. p. xi
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  1. Preface and Acknowledgments
  2. pp. xiii-xv
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  1. 1 Big Mounds, Big Rings, Big Power
  2. pp. 1-9
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  1. 2 Late Archaic Fisher-Foragers in the Apalachicola– Lower Chattahoochee Valley, Northwest Florida– South Georgia/Alabama
  2. pp. 10-25
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  1. 3 Measuring Shell Rings for Social Inequality
  2. pp. 26-70
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  1. 4 Regional-Scale Interaction Networks and the Emergence of Cultural Complexity along the Northern Margins of the Southeast
  2. pp. 71-85
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  1. 5 The Green River in Comparison to the Lower Mississippi Valley during the Archaic: To Build Mounds or Not to Build Mounds?
  2. pp. 86-96
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  1. 6 Cultural Complexity in the Middle Archaic of Mississippi
  2. pp. 97-113
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  1. 7 The Burkett Site (23MI20): Implications for Cultural Complexity and Origins
  2. pp. 114-128
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  1. 8 Poverty Point Chipped-Stone Tool Raw Materials: Inferring Social and Economic Strategies
  2. pp. 129-145
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  1. 9 Are We Fixing to Make the Same Mistake Again?
  2. pp. 146-161
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  1. 10 Surrounding the Sacred: Geometry and Design of Early Mound Groups as Meaning and Function
  2. pp. 162-213
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  1. 11 Crossing the Symbolic Rubicon in the Southeast
  2. pp. 214-233
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  1. 13 The Power of Beneficent Obligation in First Mound– Building Societies
  2. pp. 254-269
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  1. 14 Archaic Mounds and the Archaeology of Southeastern Tribal Societies
  2. pp. 270-299
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  1. 15 Old Mounds, Ancient Hunter-Gatherers, and Modern Archaeologists
  2. pp. 300-315
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  1. References Cited
  2. pp. 317-364
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  1. Contributors
  2. pp. 365-367
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 369-383
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