The Archaeology of Everyday Life at Early Moundville
Publication Year: 2008
Published by: The University of Alabama Press
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List of Illustrations
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How complex were Mississippian polities and in what ways were they complex? What role did small-scale social groups play in the emergence of regionally organized political hierarchies? These issues are the focus of this archaeological investigation of the Moundville site in the Black Warrior Valley of west-central Alabama. Between the twelfth and fifteenth centuries, the Moundville site was the...
2. Mississippian Communities and Households
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Mississippian peoples throughout the southeastern United States drew from a common suite of architectural elements to build and organize their communities. Mounds, plazas, courtyards, palisades, and cemeteries were basic components of a Mississippian architectural grammar that defined major settlements throughout the greater Southeast and Midwest (Lewis and Stout 1998). There was also considerable...
3. Moundville Households in Space and Time
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There is a rich, untapped dataset on Mississippian households from the Moundville site. During the late 1930s and early 1940s the Alabama Museum of Natural History conducted excavations throughout the site, uncovering hundreds of Mississippian buildings along with thousands of artifacts. The vast majority of these archaeological materials have not been systematically analyzed. The Moundville...
4. Architecture and Community Organization
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This chapter presents an analysis of the architectural and mortuary features of the Moundville Roadway and Riverbank excavations. I begin by providing background on the architectural techniques used to construct Mississippian structures and on the purposes that these buildings served. Next, I describe the way the Moundville Roadway was originally mapped and the procedures used to create a geographic...
5. Ceramics at Early Moundville
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The analysis of archaeological ceramics in the southeastern United States has traditionally been directed toward building regional chronologies and defining areas of cultural interaction. In the past 20 years, however, there has been an expanding body of research aimed at linking archaeological ceramic assemblages to foodways (Blitz 1993a; Hally 1983a, 1984, 1986; Pauketat 1987, 1989; Steponaitis...
6. Discussion and Conclusions
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Moundville was among the largest Mississippian polities, and thus it was clearly more complex than most other settlements in the late prehistoric Southeast. However, this observation raises the question, how complex was Moundville and in what ways was it complex? These are important issues, as Moundville has become an oft-cited example of how Mississippian polities were organized and how they...
Appendix 1. Architectural Data
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Appendix 2. Counts and Frequencies of All Sherds by Context
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Publication Year: 2008