Mound Sites of the Ancient South
A Guide to the Mississippian Chiefdoms
Publication Year: 2013
This heavily illustrated guide brings these settlements to life with maps, artists’ reconstructions, photos of artifacts, and historic and modern photos of sites, connecting our archaeological knowledge with what is visible when visiting the sites today. Anthropologist Eric E. Bowne discusses specific structures at each location and highlights noteworthy museums, artifacts, and cultural features. He also provides an introduction to Mississippian culture, offering background on subsistence and settlement practices, political and social organization, warfare, and belief systems that will help readers better understand these complex and remarkable places. Sites include Cahokia, Moundville, Etowah, and many more.
A Friends Fund Publication
Published by: University of Georgia Press
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Eric Bowne has written a guide to what remains of the ancient world that existed in the American South from about ad 1000 to the 1600s. Many people have conceptions of ancient worlds that existed in their homelands before them. This is true of Europeans who learn in school about the world of ancient Greeks and Ro-mans. Mexicans learn in school about the ancient Aztec world that once held sway in their homeland. And the same is true of Peruvians, who are quite aware of the world of the ancient Incas. Many other examples from around ...
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This book is intended to appeal to a wide range of people with varying degrees of interest in southeastern Indian societ-ies and archaeology. First and foremost it is designed to serve as a guidebook for people interested in visiting late prehistoric Native American archaeological sites and museums in the South. The book covers more than twenty such sites, thirteen of which are featured. For these featured sites, the discussion takes in the environmental sett ing, a current site description, archaeological research, and site history. Each location is ...
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I was first introduced to the Ancient South in 1993 when I took Dr. Charles Hudsonâs course âThe Rise and Fall of Southeastern Chief-domsâ as an undergraduate at the University of Georgia. He painted such a clear and vivid picture of those societies in his lectures that I was captivated, and as a result I have been studying the region and its Native peoples ever since. In many ways, this guidebook is a tribute to the superla-Of course the production of this guidebook was possible only with the help of a great number of individuals, all of whom deserve recognition and ...
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What follows is a guide to the late prehistoric native peoples of the American South, particularly a group of societies known collectively to scholars as Mississip-pian chiefdoms. The concept âchiefdomâ refers spe-cifi cally and exclusively to societies characterized by the hereditary transfer of leadership positions and by a social system that included both elites and commoners but that had not reached the size or complexity of a state. The chiefdoms of the Ancient South were dubbed âMississippianâ because their ...
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During the height of the Mississippian period, in the thirteenth century, there were at least fi ft y large Mississippian chiefdoms and many small ones scatt ered throughout the An-cient South, and the total population of the region was at least several hundred thousand. Despite the tremendous linguistic and cultural diversity among these societies, there were enough similarities to allow them to have more than a basic understanding of one another. A number of general Mississippian traits constitute a sett ing that can rightly be referred to as the ...
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The Mississippi Valley region around modern St. Louis was the heartland of the Mississippian way of life. During the tenth century, people there came to depend on corn supplemented by squash and other minor domesticates as the staple of their diet (beans were not widely used in the Ancient South until the thirteenth century). In addition to this new crop, people accepted the leadership of cer-tain lineages that had come to be seen as closely connected with the gods. Under the direction of members of these elite lineages, the rest of the popu-...
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The thirteenth and fourteenth centuries have justifi ably been referred to as the high point of Mississippian culture, the period of its greatest geographic extent. Cahokia att ained its peak near the beginning of this period, as did many other large and impressive Mississippian chiefdoms, including Etowah, Moundville, Spiro, and Winterville. Mississippian artwork, including a set of âinterna-tionalâ symbols based on the cosmology of Cahokia, reached the height of its development between 1200 and 1400 as well. In addition, one of the common ...
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The climatic upheaval of the Litt le Ice Age and the social and political upheaval of the late fourteenth century continued into the fi ft eenth century. In some cases, these factors combined to have devastating eff ects â for example, almost the entire Savannah River Valley in Georgia was abandoned between 1400 and 1450. Other areas experienced similar occurrences; the chiefdoms west of the Mis-sissippi River were hit particularly hard. The Mississippian world was not disappearing, but changing. New, far-fl ung, powerful chiefdoms developed ...
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What happened to the Mississippian chiefdoms of the Ancient South? There is no simple answer. But it is possible to identify some factors that led to the aban-donment of the Mississippian way of life. The fi rst was the invasion of the Ancient South by Europeans ultimately bent on conquer-ing and colonizing. Their exploratory military forays, or entradas, as the Spanish referred to them, infl icted not only physical casualties but mental ones as well. That is to say, European expeditions undermined the author-...
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Page Count: 272
Illustrations: 92 color photos, 23 b&w photos, 20 maps
Publication Year: 2013