Archaeology of Aboriginal Culture Change in the Interior Southeast: Depopulation during the Early Historic Period

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Overview

"For much of the Southeast, a challenging question has long been what happened to the Indian nations described by members of de Soto’s 1540 expedition?" Smith’s study admirably bridges the history of interior Southeastern Indian nations between the Late Prehistoric and the eighteenth century."--Alice B. Kehoe, American Indian Quarterly

"[Contributes] not only to a better understanding of the process of disintegration of chiefdoms, but to archaeological method necessary when dealing with the contact period. It argues for the introduction of European diseases as a major cause of the collapse of chiefdoms in the interior...Smith is a major figure among those ‘exploring our forgotten century.’"--Stanley South, American Anthropologist

"This superb archaeological study establishes the chronological controls that finally make it possible to discriminate the dynamic events of depopulation and culture change that occurred during the historical interregnum of the late sixteenth and most of the seventeenth centuries in the Southeast."--Jeffrey P. Brain, Peabody Museum, Harvard University

"Smith has cast the first ray of light into the great black hole of southern history--the century from about 1570 to about 1670. It has long been known that during this century the native population declined sharply and that social geography of the region changed drastically. With admirable doggedness and ingenuity, Smith has reconstructed some details on how these momentous changes occurred in one area."-- Charles Hudson, University of Georgia

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Product Details

Table of Contents

Tables ix
Figures x
Acknowledgments xi
1. Problems of Culture Change 1
Demography and early historic period culture change 4
Goals of the study 6
The data base and methodology 8
2. The Historical Background 11
3. Chronology from European Trade Goods 23
Dating the artifacts 29
Assemblages 44
Aboriginal materials 52
4. The Demographic Collapse 54
Historical background 54
Documented effects of disease 58
Archaeological parameters 60
Discussion 84
5. The Fall of Chiefdoms 86
Historical background 87
Archaeological correlates 89
6. The Question of Acculturation 113
7. The Aftermath: Toward the Formation of the Creek Confederacy 129
8. Final Considerations and Future Research 143
Appendixes
1. Additional Site Data 149
2. Chronological Parameters of Lamar Ceramics in the Wallace Reservoir 161
References Cited 165
Index 177
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