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Changing Perspectives on the Archaeology of the Central Mississippi Valley

Michael J. O'Brien, Robert C. Dunnell, Gregory L. Fox, Paul P. Kreisa, David H. Dye, Robert C. Mainfort

Publication Year: 2098

Fourteen experts examine the current state of Central Valley prehistoric research and provide an important touchstone for future archaeological study of the region.

The Mississippi Valley region has long played a critical role in the development of American archaeology and continues to be widely known for the major research of the early 1950s. To bring the archaeological record up to date, fourteen Central Valley experts address diverse topics including the distribution of artifacts across the landscape, internal configurations of large fortified settlements, human-bone chemistry, and ceramic technology.

The authors demonstrate that much is to be learned from the rich and varied archaeological record of the region and that the methods and techniques used to study the record have changed dramatically over the past half century. Operating at the cutting edge of current research strategies, these archaeologists provide a fresh look at old problems in central Mississippi Valley research.




 

 

Published by: The University of Alabama Press

Cover Page

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p. 1-1

Title Page

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pp. 2-5

Contents

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pp. v-vi

Figures

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pp. vii-xi

Tables

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pp. xii-xiv

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Preface and Acknowledgments

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pp. xv-xvi

This volume had its origin in a 1993 Society for American Archaeology symposium. That year the annual meeting was held in St. Louis, and given the venue, it seemed appropriate to focus at least one set of papers on current research in the Mississippi Valley. Although that region played a critical role in the development of American archaeology ...

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1. A Brief Introduction to the Archaeology of the Central Mississippi River Valley

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pp. 1-30

The chapters in this volume summarize a series of recent investigations of the archaeological record of the central Mississippi River valley, which, following Morse and Morse (1983; see also Williams 1956), we take to be that portion of the greater Mississippi Alluvial Valley (Fisk 1944) lying between the Arkansas River ...

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2. An Examination of Mississippian-Period Phases in Southeastern Missouri

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pp. 31-58

Modern (post-1940) archaeological research in southeastern Missouri (Figure 2-1), and indeed in the central Mississippi River valley, has focused primarily on classificatory-historical problems (e.g., Lafferty and Price 1996; Phillips et al. 1951; Williams 1954), though more-recent studies by Dunnell (1982, 1988), Dunnell and Feathers (1991), ...

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3. Pottery, Radiocarbon Dates, and Mississippian-Period Chronology Building in Western Kentucky

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pp. 59-79

As a consequence of the initiation of stratigraphic excavation as a field technique after the turn of the twentieth century, archaeologists recognized that changes in how artifacts were made, and in some cases decorated, could be used to order the remains of past cultures chronologically. ...

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4. An Overview of Walls Engraved Pottery in the Central Mississippi Valley

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pp. 80-98

Engraved pottery, particularly of the type known as Walls Engraved, has been used over the past forty years as a Late Mississippian-period (post-A.D. 1400) ceramic marker in the central Mississippi River valley (Griffin 1952; Morse and Morse 1983; O'Brien 1994a; Phillips 1939, 1970; Phillips et al. 1951; Rands 1956; Williams 1954). ...

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5. Graves Lake: A Late Mississippian-Period Village in Lauderdale County, Tennessee

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pp. 99-123

Graves Lake (40LA92) is located within Lower Hatchie National Wildlife Refuge, approximately 5 kilometers north of the mouth of the Hatchie River in Lauderdale County,Tennessee (Figure 5-1). The site occupies a low, mesa-like erosional remnant that rises approximately 10 meters above the surrounding bottomland ...

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6. Landscape Change and Settlement Location in the Cairo Lowland of Southeastern Missouri

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pp. 124-147

Between 1989 and 1993, Mid-Continental Research Associates, Inc., of Springdale, Arkansas, under contract with the Memphis District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, conducted surveys and limited excavation of archaeological sites in the New Madrid Floodway of southeastern Missouri (Figure 6-1). ...

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7. Nonsite Survey in the Cairo Lowland of Southeastern Missouri

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pp. 148-168

The Cairo Lowland of southeastern Missouri (Figure 7-1), located in what Holmes (1886, 1903) defined as the Middle Mississippi region, has long been of interest to antiquarians and archaeologists because of its relatively high density of mound centers and large "towns" (Conant 1878; Croswell 1878; Evers 1880; Potter 1880; Putnam 1875b; Swallow 1858; Thomas 1894). ...

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8. Powers Fort: A Middle Mississippian-Period Fortified Community in the Western Lowlands of Missouri

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pp. 169-199

Powers Fort (23BUlO) is the civic-ceremonial center of the Middle Mississippian-period Powers phase (Price 1978; Smith 1978a), a short-lived manifestation of Mississippian society present in the Western Lowlands of the Mississippi River valley between about A.D. 1200 and A.D. 1350.1 Here I summarize what is known about Powers Fort, ...

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9. The Langdon Site, Dunklin County, Missouri

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pp. 200-224

Langdon is a large Mississippian-period, fortified settlement on the edge of the Malden Plain in southern Dunklin County, Missouri. The Malden Plain is an erosional remnant of Pleistocene braided-stream deposits (O'Brien and Dunnell, Chapter ...1) that flanks the eastern edge of Crowley's Ridge, extending from Dexter, Missouri, ...

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10. Moon: A Fortified Mississippian-Period Village in Poinsett County, Arkansas

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pp. 225-257

This chapter summarizes excavations at the Moon site (3P0488), a Middle Mississippian-period (A.D. 1200-1400) village in Poinsett County, Arkansas (Figure 10-1). Named for the landowner, James Moon, the site was excavated by personnel from the Center for Archaeological Research, Southwest Missouri State University, ...

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11. Variability in Crowley's Ridge Gravel

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pp. 258-280

For those interested in prehistoric lithic technology, the central Mississippi River valley presents an interesting situation. Although chert and other lithic Raw materials are abundant in the surrounding paleozoic uplands and in the Glacial-till sheet to the north, the alluvial-valley surface itself, which in places Is more than 150 kilometers wide, lacks rock of even gravel size. ...

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12. Blade Technology and Nonlocal Cherts: Hopewell(?) Traits at the Twenhafel Site, Southern Illinois

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pp. 281-298

Midwestern archaeologists traditionally view evidence for use of prismatic-blade technology and non local cherts, particularly blue-gray cherts, as being Middle Woodland (ca. 250 B.C.-A.D. 400) in age and Hopewellian in terms of cultural manifestation. Odell (1994:117), for example, argues that blade technology developed alongside Hopewell mortuary ritual ...

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13. Prehistoric Diet in the Central Mississippi River Valley

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pp. 299-324

The systematic recovery and analysis of archaeobotanical remains has demonstrated convincingly that maize farming was not the exclusive basis for all sedentary, nucleated settlements in North America (Wymer 1987, 1990) and that native plants continued to playa variable role in subsistence systems after maize became the primary dietary focus ...

Notes

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pp. 325-328

References

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pp. 329-374

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Contributors

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pp. 375-378

David W. Benn received his PhD. from the University of Wisconsin in 1976. He currently is research coordinator for Bear Creek Archeology, Inc., of Cresco, Iowa, a firm conducting resource-management studies in the upper Mississippi River basin. He has published two books, Hadfields Cave and Woodland Cultures on the Western Prairies, and numerous articles about the Woodland cultural periods. ...

Index

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pp. 379-385


E-ISBN-13: 9780817384173
E-ISBN-10: 0817384170
Print-ISBN-13: 9780817309091
Print-ISBN-10: 0817309098

Page Count: 404
Publication Year: 2098