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Prehistory of the Central Mississippi Valley

Edited by Charles H. McNutt, with contributions from Phyllis A. Morse, R. Barry

Publication Year: 1996

The Central Mississippi Valley, defined as the region along the Mississippi River from where the Ohio River joins in the north to its confluence with the Arkansas River in the south, lies between the two most important archaeological areas of the Southeast: American Bottom/Cahokia and the Lower Yazoo Basin. The valley has been influenced by these major centers and has a complex history of its own. Contributions from experts throughout the region present current, if sometimes conflicting, views of the regional cultural sequences supported by data from recent surveys and excavations, as well as radiocarbon and chronometric determinations. By examining this new information and reevaluating earlier interpretations of local archaeological sequences, this volume provides a comprehensive overview of the valley and defines future research goals.

Published by: The University of Alabama Press


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pp. vii-viii


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pp. ix-x

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pp. xi-xiii

THE CENTRAL MISSISSIPPI VALLEY comprises the area between the confluence ofthe Ohio River in the north and the Arkansas River in the south (Figure P-1). Thus defined, it extends for a linear distance of approximately 420 kilometersor 260 miles and lies between two of the major population centers in the Southeast: the American Bottom to the north and the Lower Yazoo Basin to the south...

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1. Southeast Missouri

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pp. 1-46

ARCHAEOLOGICAL RESEARCH HAS been conducted in southeast Missouri formore than a century (see Morse and Morse 1983:18-19). As with much of the Mississippi Valley, the most extensive early work was conducted by the Smithsonian Mound Exploration Project (Thomas 1894), which recorded and excavated many large mound sites. Thomas and his associates identified the...

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2. The Western Kentucky Border and the Cairo Lowland

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pp. 47-76

IN THE EARLY 1940S the region around the mouth of the Ohio River was so little known archaeologically that James Ford and Gordon Willey (1941:349), in their overview of eastern United States prehistory, had to sketch a picture of what its prehistory should look like given what was known about the Tennessee Valley. Much has been learned in the intervening half century; this chapter outlines...

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3. The Reelfoot Lake Basin, Kentucky and Tennessee

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pp. 77-96

THE REELFOOT LAKE BASIN is the largest expanse of floodplain on the east sideof the Mississippi River south of its confluence with the Ohio River. It is located in the northwest corner of Tennessee and southwest corner of Kentucky, in Fulton, Lake, and Obion counties (Figure 3-1). The northern extent is sharply demarcated by the intersection of the bluffs with the Mississippi River at...

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4. The Mississippi River Drainage of Western Tennessee

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pp. 97-118

THERE ARE THREE major ecological zones in the area of concern. From west toeast they are the narrow Mississippi River floodplain, the loess uplands, covering roughly two-thirds of the area, and the inner coastal plain sands and clays,which extend from the upper portions of the Mississippi tributaries east to theTennessee River divide (Figure 4-1). Floral and faunal resources are broadly...

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5. Northeast Arkansas

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pp. 119-136

NORTHEAST ARKANSAS IS part of the Central Mississippi Valley, which was the focus of a book written by us (Morse and Morse 1983) that summarized the prehistory and early history of that region. That effort allowed us to examine all of our collected data and the interpretations made both before and since 1967, when the Arkansas State University station of the Arkansas Archeological ...

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6. East-Central Arkansas

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pp. 137-154

WEST OF THE Great River, the Mississippi Alluvial Valley reaches its widest extent at about latitude 34�30', along an east-west line running from Helena through Little Rock. Centered on this transect is the eight-county territory of the Arkansas Archeological Survey station at University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB)...

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7. The Upper Yazoo Basin in Northwest Mississippi

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pp. 155-186

THE ALLUVIAL Yazoo Basin of northwest Mississippi (the "delta") extends from Memphis, Tennessee (320 feet amsl) in the north to Vicksburg in the south, a distance of some 200 miles (320 kilometers). Elevation at the Tennessee-Mississippi state line is roughly 210 feet amsl and at Vicksburg is 85 feet amsl. The basin is bounded on the east by loess-covered bluffs (the Loess Hills) and on the...

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8. The Central Mississippi Valley: A Summary

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pp. 187-258

THE TOPOGRAPHY AND natural resources of the region under consideration have been described in some detail in the preceding chapters. In general, west of the Mississippi there are lowlands broken by occasional ridges (Crowley's, Sikeston) and bordered on the northwest by the Ozark Escarpment; east of the river there are narrow bottomlands bordered by loess bluffs, interrupted by the Ohio...


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pp. 259-294


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pp. 295-298


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pp. 299-313

E-ISBN-13: 9780817384111
Print-ISBN-13: 9780817308070

Page Count: 328
Publication Year: 1996

OCLC Number: 44957749
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Prehistory of the Central Mississippi Valley

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Subject Headings

  • Indians of North America -- Mississippi River Valley -- Antiquities.
  • Mississippian culture.
  • Excavations (Archaeology) -- Mississippi River Valley.
  • Mississippi River Valley -- Antiquities.
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