Abstract

Abstract:

Scholars and the public generally categorize moundbuilding as “prehistoric” and frequently fail to understand the connection between mounds and modern Indigenous nations. This article troubles the notion of “prehistory” by demonstrating that Indigenous peoples have maintained an unbroken tradition of moundbuilding for thousands of years; they continue to use and build mounds today. Focusing particularly on Indigenous people of the South from 1000 CE to the present, this article examines platform mounds, a particularly iconic form of monumental architecture. Platform mounds are elevated earthen pyramids that feature flat summits used for community buildings, temples, chiefly residences, and ceremony. Though long-lived, platform mounds are not static. Rather, Native peoples have adapted the art, design, and use of platform mounds over the course of millenia to help them overcome challenges ranging from climate change to colonialism.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-1488
Print ISSN
1068-8218
Pages
pp. 96-116
Launched on MUSE
2020-07-10
Open Access
No
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