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  • Encountering Hopewell in the Twenty-First Century, Ohio and Beyond, Volume Two: Settlements, Foodways, and Interaction ed. by Brian G. Redmond, Bret J. Ruby and Jarrod Burks
  • Kayla Metzger
Encountering Hopewell in the Twenty-First Century, Ohio and Beyond, Volume Two: Settlements, Foodways, and Interaction. Edited by Brian G. Redmond, Bret J. Ruby, and Jarrod Burks. (Akron, Ohio: University of Akron Press, 2020. 294 pp. Hardcover $89.95, ISBN 978-1-629221-03-8.)

The Hopewell phenomenon has been the subject of investigation for nearly two centuries, yet answers to fundamental questions have continued to elude archaeologists. Volume 2 of Encountering Hopewell aims to set a precedent for the next century of investigation into Hopewell of the Ohio Valley and beyond. While earthwork ceremonial centers have primarily been the interest of study, a shift to understanding Hopewell culture through settlement data has only recently come to the forefront of archaeological inquiry. Burks [End Page 103] posits that future investigation should build upon the advancements in technology and multiscalar methodologies demonstrated in these chapters to pursue further Hopewell settlement and subsistence data and gain insight into the nature of Hopewell connections.

Current research presented at the Third Chillicothe Conference on Hope-well Archaeology in 2016 and in the resultant Encountering Hopewell two-volume set addresses almost every aspect of Hopewell culture. Volume 2 imparts the novel approaches to answering age-old questions about Hopewell organization in order to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the every day activities and motivations of these ancient peoples. Researchers have employed multiscalar approaches along with geophysical, chemical, and geographical technologies to make implications about Hopewell settlement and exchange strategies.

The associations between Hopewell centers in the “core” region of the Scioto Valley, northwestern Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, and Georgia are explored across multiple chapters. Redmond references the Byers model of the “Hopewell Ceremonial Sphere” as a potential account for the remnants of domestic and ritualistic activities at the Heckelman site. The investigators in chapter 2 utilize a bottom-up approach to explore the mechanism of the Havana-Hopewell development along the Kalamazoo and St. Joseph River Valleys. The combination of technical and visual analysis of ceramics, along with incorporation of Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS), effectively resulted in a more comprehensive identification of community interactions and mobility patterns across multiple spatial scales. Chapter 6 reviews analyses of artifact distribution at the Leake site that yielded significant evidence of Middle Woodland Hopewellian activity on multiple scales. Keith draws upon previous data about Swift Creek site distribution and material assemblages to synthesize a model of Hopewell regional and interregional interactions, where the Leake and Mann sites act as regional centers for the exchange of peoples, materials, and ideas, that can be further tested through comparative investigation and chronological controls.

Chapters 3 and 4 review recent investigations into Brown’s Bottom and Lady’s Run sites within the Scioto Valley. Pacheco, Burks, and Wymer effectively illustrate composite evidence for intensive Hopewell occupation in the region through the combined analysis of seasonal subsistence and structural data. Researchers in chapter 4 explore the contemporaneity of Brown’s Bottom dispersed settlements and interaction through the variations in material culture, in terms of raw material attributes of lithic diagnostic and undiag-nostic [End Page 104] artifacts and ceramics. Distinct differences in artifact materials and traits provide insight into the variability and cooperation between households, as well as produce implications about settlement and interregional interactions in the form of exchange networks.

Chapter 5 introduces the Scale and Community in Hopewell Networks project, established to diminish interpretive difficulties resulting from past investigations. Researchers employ a multiscalar approach of sampling, sourcing, and interpreting distributions of raw materials and their attributes among Hopewell “core” sites to explore stylistic and material relations indicative of social interaction. This combination analysis of micro- and macro-stylistic attributes can illustrate connections between individuals, sites, and regions. The study resulted in evidence of shared cultural information within the Scioto Valley and indicated that exchange of information spread more than the actual exchange of products.

The successive chapters approach enduring questions about Hopewell subsistence strategies by applying comparative methods to hypothetical modeling and cultural uniformitarianism—and by exploring the importance of novel...


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