Architectural Variability in the Southeast

Architectural Variability in the Southeast

Architectural Variability in the Southeast

Architectural Variability in the Southeast

Synopsis

Some of the most visible expressions of human culture are illustrated architecturally. Unfortunately for archaeologists, the architecture being studied is not always visible and must be inferred from soil inconsistencies or charred remains. This study deals with research into roughly a millennium of Native American architecture in the Southeast and includes research on the variation of construction techniques employed both above and below ground. Most of the architecture discussed is that of domestic houses with some emphasis on large public buildings and sweat lodges. The authors use an array of methods and techniques in examining native architecture including experimental archaeology, ethnohistory, ethnography, multi-variant analysis, structural engineering, and wood science technology. A major portion of the work, and probably the most important in terms of overall significance, is that it addresses the debate of early Mississippian houses and what they looked like above ground and the changes that occurred both before and after the arrival of Europeans. a Contributors: Dennis B. Blanton, Tamira K. Brennan, Ramie A. Gougeon, Tom H. Gresham, Vernon J. Knight Jr., Cameron H. Lacquement, Robert H. Lafferty, III, Mark A. McConaughy, Nelson A. Reed, Robert J. Scott, Lynne P. Sullivan"

Excerpt

Cameron H. Lacquement

Native (or indigenous) architecture throughout the world differs substantially in building styles, materials, and construction techniques. Varieties in architectural form are not only found among the different cultural, geographical, and temporal regions of the globe but within these regions as well. For instance, a survey of contemporary South African houses alone would show several forms of architecture including round, oval, square, and rectangular houses, with flexed, hipped, gabled, or conical roofs, or combinations of these roof styles (Biermann 1971; Denyer 1978; Frescura 1981; Guidoni 1975). Despite the differences in location, climate, and time, the intraregional variability found in contemporary South African houses is very similar to that of prehistoric houses of the southeastern United States. a variety of house shapes, including round, oval, square, rectangular, and cross-shaped, which are believed to represent a variety of construction techniques, have also been uncovered in the Southeast United States. the variability of architectural forms in the southeastern United States is the focus of this manuscript. the authors provide their research on the variation of construction techniques in the Southeast United States concerning both above-ground and below-ground architectural analyses in order to investigate the various structural forms in this region.

Through the study of architectural remains, the archaeologist can infer the cultural patterns and behaviors associated with the creation of a particular type of structure. As several archaeologists and other social scientists have stated (Alexander 1979; Alexander et al. 1977; Lewis et al. 1998; Mitchell 1990; Rapoport 1969; to name a few), some of the most visible expressions of human culture are illustrated architecturally. Unfortunately for the archaeologist, the architecture being studied is not always visible, making this underlying . . .

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