Archaeology Of Aboriginal Culture Change In The Interior Southeast / Edition 1

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Members of Hernando de Soto’s 1540 march through the interior of the southeastern United States, as well as other explorers at that time, describer encounters with complex and powerful Indian chiefdoms. Until this detailed work by Marvin T. Smith, first published in 1987, scholars had argued about the role that Europeans played in the disintegration of that Mississippi culture.

Rejecting the notion that the aboriginal nations acculturated to a European pattern, Smith shows that Old World epidemic diseases caused immediate population loss in interior areas. He develops a chronological framework for the period 1540-1670 based on European trade goods, which allows him to date the aboriginal sites and to examine the tempo of demographic shifts with more precision than archaeologists before him commanded.

The effects of early European contract—documented with data that include artifacts associated with burial practices, public works, and craft specialization—traveled farther than the European explorers themselves, as depopulation led to political breakdown and social collapse.

One product of this collapse, Smith argues, was the Creek Confederacy of the eighteenth century, a mix of refugee populations who banded together in defense alliances against the Europeans and other Indians.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813011585
  • Publisher: University Press of Florida
  • Publication date: 7/1/1992
  • Series: Florida Museum of Natural History Series
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 200
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.46 (d)

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
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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