Towns and Temples along the Mississippi

Towns and Temples along the Mississippi

Towns and Temples along the Mississippi

Towns and Temples along the Mississippi

Synopsis

A Dan Josselyn Memorial Publication Specialists from archaeology, ethnohistory, physical anthropology, and cultural anthropology bring their varied points of view to this subject in an attempt to answer basic questions about the nature and extent of social change within the time period. The scholars' overriding concerns include presentation of a scientifically accurate depiction of the native cultures in the Central Mississippi Valley prior and immediately subsequent to European contact and the need to document the ensuing social and biological changes that eventually led to the widespread depopulation and cultural reorientation. Their findings lead to three basic hypotheses that will focus the scholarly research for decades to come. Contributors include:George J. Armelagos, Ian W. Brown, Chester B. DePratter, George F. Fielder, Jr., James B. Griffin, M. Cassandra Hill, Michael P. Hoffman, Charles Hudson, R. Barry Lewis, Dan F. Morse, Phyllis A. Morse, Mary Lucas Powell, Cynthia R. Price, James F. Price, Gerald P. Smith, Marvin T. Smith, and Stephen Williams

Excerpt

This volume presents an overview of the most ad vanced Native American cultures north of Mexico at the time of initial Eu ropean contact. the story of their way of life is now unfolding as new information accumulates from the efforts of long-term archaeological research programs. These Mississippian people, organized into complex chiefdoms, lived in the Central Mississippi Valley from approximately A.D. 1350 to A.D. 1650. They occupied the fertile natural levees bordering cutoff lakes in the broad Mississippi Alluvial Valley. Their cultural adaptation to the Mississippi floodplain environment presents an interesting case study of societies that have not yet become fully urbanized but yet have developed a sophisticated political and military organization. Such studies are an important source of information for understanding the growth and development of cultures in other parts of the world and in outlining the rise of civilization in the New World and Old World.

The idea of producing a volume on the Late Prehistoric and Early Historic Mississippian inhabitants of the Memphis area began in 1981 when the senior editor taught a course entitled "Indians of the Mid-South" at Memphis State University. in teaching this course it became apparent that a comprehensive publication covering the last expression of the Mississippian florescence in the Mid-South was needed for students, professional archaeologists, ethnohistorians, and the interested public. the Morses' excellent overview of the Central Mississippi Valley, Archaeology of the Central Mississippi Valley, had not been published and few sources were available to students interested in local archaeology.

In 1983 we decided to host an Archaeological Institute of America symposium on the Native American cultures in the Memphis area in conjunction with an exhibit being prepared on artifacts from the Central Mississippi Valley in the Memphis State University Art Gallery. We applied for a Regional Symposium Grant through the Archaeological Institute of America and were . . .

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