Constructing a New Society after the Angel Chiefdom Collapse
Publication Year: 2004
Published by: The University of Alabama Press
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This book is a revised version of my dissertation, which was completed at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. I would like to thank my dissertation committee (Dr. Richard W. Jefferies, Dr. John Van Willigan, Dr. Kim A. McBride, and Dr. John Watkins) and the outside reader (Dr. Theda Perdue) for their instructive comments and constructive...
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Understanding how populations reconstruct social, political, and economic relationships after the collapse of a chiefdom has long been of interest to archaeologists (Anderson 1990; Barker and Pauketat 1992; Drennan and Uribe 1987; Earle 1991; Yoffee and Cowgill 1995). Research has shown that societies respond in a variety of ways to the demise of an elite class (Anderson 1990, 1994; Tainter 1988; Welch 1991) and the...
2. Pre-A.D. 1400 Mississippian Regional Centers, Angel’s Collapse, and Caborn-Welborn Developments in the Lower Ohio River Valley
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Like other Mississippian societies in the lower Ohio River valley, and in fact throughout the Midwest and Southeast in general, the Angel chiefdom can be characterized as a cluster of settlements inhabited by a population that was linked socially, politically, and economically and that shared a common ideology (Smith 1978). The Angel site was the...
3. Ceramic Descriptions
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Ceramics, triangular endscrapers, and small quantities of Euro-American trade goods are the three main material culture attributes that archaeologists use to identify Caborn-Welborn components. Of the three, ceramics are by far the most numerous and the most temporally and functionally sensitive artifact class. For these reasons, the interpretations...
4. Site Types and Their Spatial Distribution
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Like earlier Mississippian societies of the lower Ohio valley, the Caborn-Welborn settlement system included several different site types. Green and Munson (1978) defined four types: farmsteads, hamlets, small villages, and large villages (see also Green 1977; Muller 1986). A fifth type, blufftop cemeteries not directly associated with a habitation...
5. Temporal Trends
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Before the Caborn-Welborn population’s response to the collapse of the Angel chiefdom can be understood and placed within a broader context, some measure of control of internal Caborn-Welborn developments is needed. Through the identification of Caborn-Welborn temporal trends in material culture, it should be possible to determine whether intersite variation...
6. Cultural and Functional Ceramic Patterns
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With the temporal trends in Caborn-Welborn ceramics identified and a chronological sequence outlined for Caborn-Welborn sites, it is now possible to examine the ceramic data for other patterns, ones that have the potential to provide insights into how the Caborn-Welborn population reconstructed social, political, and economic relationships following...
7. Interpretations and Conclusions
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Understanding chiefdom collapse, the consequences of collapse, and the processes by which individual societies reconstruct political, economic, and social relationships following the demise of a complex society have long been of interest to archaeologists (Anderson 1990; Cowgill 1979; Earle 1991; Tainter 1988; Yoffee and Cowgill 1995). However...
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Publication Year: 2004