Mississippian Towns and Sacred Spaces

Author: R. Barry Lewis
Publisher: University of Alabama Press
ISBN: 0817309470
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Archaeologists and architects draw upon theoretical perspectives from their fields to provide valuable insights into the structure, development, and meaning of prehistoric communities. Architecture is the most visible physical manifestation of human culture. The built environment envelops our lives and projects our distinctive regional and ethnic identities to the world around us. Archaeology and architecture find common theoretical ground in their perspectives of the homes, spaces, and communities that people create for themselves. Although archaeologists and architects may ask different questions and apply different methods, the results are the same—a deeper understanding of what it means to be human. In this volume, prominent archaeologists examine the architectural design spaces of Mississippian towns and mound centers of the eastern United States. The diverse Mississippian societies, which existed between A.D. 900 and 1700, created some of the largest and most complex Native American archaeological sites in the United States. The dominant architectural feature shared by these communities was one or more large plazas, each of which was often flanked by buildings set on platform mounds. The authors describe the major dimensions of an architectural grammar, centered on the design of the plaza and mound complex that was shared by different societies across the Mississippian world. They then explore these shared architectural features as physical representations or metaphors for Mississippian world views and culture.

Archaeological Perspectives on the Southern Appalachians

Author: Ramie A. Gougeon
Publisher: Univ. of Tennessee Press
ISBN: 1621901025
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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"This volume demonstrates how archaeologists working in the Southern Appalachian region over the past 40 years have developed rich interpretations of prehistoric and historic Southeastern Native societies by examining them from multiple scales of analysis. The end results of these examinations demonstrate both the uses and the constraints of multiscalar approaches in reconstructing various lifeways across the Southeast"--

Center Places and Cherokee Towns

Author: Christopher B. Rodning
Publisher: University of Alabama Press
ISBN: 0817318410
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Center Places and Cherokee Towns examines the ways architecture and other aspects of the built environment, such as hearths, burials, and earthen mounds and embankments, formed center places within the Cherokee cultural landscape of the southern Appalachians from the fifteenth through eighteenth centuries.

Architectural Variability in the Southeast

Author: Cameron H. Lacquement
Publisher: University of Alabama Press
ISBN: 081735459X
Format: PDF, Kindle
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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.

Leadership and polity in Mississippian society

Author: Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Center for Archaeological Investigations
Publisher: Southern Illinois Univ
ISBN:
Format: PDF, Kindle
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The contributors to this volume argue for a much richer view of variation in Mississippian leadership structures-including variation in gender relations, economic structure, political institutions, and religious organization--than the often dichotomized view of "simple" vs. "complex" chiefdoms.

Bottle Creek

Author: Ian W. Brown
Publisher: University Alabama Press
ISBN:
Format: PDF
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The archaeology of Town Creek

Author: Edmond A. Boudreaux
Publisher: University Alabama Press
ISBN:
Format: PDF
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The sequence of change for public architecture during the Mississippian period may reflect a centralization of political power through time. In the research presented here, some of the community-level assumptions attributed to the appearance of Mississippian mounds are tested against the archaeological record of the Town Creek site—the remains of a town located on the northeastern edge of the Mississippian culture area. In particular, the archaeological record of Town Creek is used to test the idea that the appearance of Mississippian platform mounds was accompanied by the centralization of political authority in the hands of a powerful chief. A compelling argument has been made that mounds were the seats and symbols of political power within Mississippian societies. While platform mounds have been a part of Southeastern Native American communities since at least 100 B.C., around A.D. 400 leaders in some communities began to place their houses on top of earthen mounds—an act that has been interpreted as an attempt to legitimize personal authority by a community leader through the appropriation of a powerful, traditional, community-oriented symbol. Platform mounds at a number of sites were preceded by a distinctive type of building called an earthlodge—a structure with earth-embanked walls and an entrance indicated by short, parallel wall trenches. Earthlodges in the Southeast have been interpreted as places where a council of community leaders came together to make decisions based on consensus. In contrast to the more inclusive function proposed for premound earthlodges, it has been argued that access to the buildings on top of Mississippian platform mounds was limited to a much smaller subset of the community. If this was the case and if ground-level earthlodges were more accessible than mound-summit structures, then access to leaders and leadership may have decreased through time. Excavations at the Town Creek archaeological site have shown that the public architecture there follows the earthlodge-to-platform mound sequence that is well known across the South Appalachian subarea of the Mississippian world. The clear changes in public architecture coupled with the extensive exposure of the site's domestic sphere make Town Creek an excellent case study for examining the relationship among changes in public architecture and leadership within a Mississippian society.