Exploring Ancient Native America: An Archaeological Guide

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This guide combines field research with accounts of tribal life to offer a new perspective on Native American history, culture and ritual. Covering nine million square miles and 25,000 years, it includes: insights into prehistoric early native cultures; information on more than 400 prehistoric sites; and contributions from Native American scholars, poets, and activists.

Written by a leading expert, this beautifully illustrated volume is a marvelous introduction to ancient Indian cultures throughout the United States and Canada, describing the rise and decline of the numerous Indian tribes who settled throughout North America, from their arrival in prehistoric times to the fateful collision of cultures between Native Americans and European explorers.

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Editorial Reviews

Text and about 100 color and b&w photographs, drawings, and maps bring to life the evidence left behind by ancient Native Americans throughout North America. Thomas (archaeologist and curator, American Museum of Natural History in NY) combines the latest findings with accounts of tribal ways of life that shed light on Native American history, culture, and ritual. He provides useful advice for visiting the ruins, practical information on where to get hands-on archaeological experience, and state-by-state listings that indicate where ruins, artifacts, and reconstructions of sites are located. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415923590
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 4/28/1999
  • Edition description: Illustrate
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

David Hurst Thomas has been a curator at the American Museum of Natural History for over twenty years and is a Founding Trustee of the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian. He has excavated hundreds of sites, has edited more than eighty volumes, and is the author of Archaeology (1998) and Archaeology: Down to Earth (1999).
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Table of Contents

The Global Prologue 1
The First Americans 9
Evidence at Folsom
Clovis: The Original Americans?
Hunting Mammoth
The Paleoindian Butcher Shop at Lubbock Lake
The Rancholabrean Extinction: Trouble in Paradise
Pre-Clovis Possibilities
The Curious Case of Calico Hills
Spreading Out Across America 49
Defining the American Archaic
Desert Archaic Adaptations
Life in the Californian Archaic
The Northwest Coast Archaic
Bison Hunters of the Northern Plains
The Southeastern Archaic
Poverty Point: An Archaic Omen of Things to Come
Lessons from America's Archaic People
Agricultural Imperatives in the American Southwest 89
Anasazi Advancements
The Anasazi of Mesa Verde
The Chaco Phenomenon
The Hohokam of the Sonora Desert
Farmers of the Mogollon Highlands
Harvesting the Eastern Woodlands 124
The Adena Culture (1000-100 B.C.)
The Hopewell Complex (200 B.C.-A.D. 500)
The Hopewell Interaction Sphere
Regionalized Interactions: The Great Hopewell Road?
The Enigmatic Effigy Mounds (A.D. 350-1300)
The Plains Village Indians
Mississippian Transformations 151
Cahokia: Mississippian City of the Sun
The Elite and Commoners of Moundville
Spiritual Symbolism at Spiro
The Outsized Eagle of Ocmulgee
Angel: Mississippian Hamlet in the Outback
Sun Watch: Archaeology in Action
Mississippian Demise and Survival
Colliding Worlds: Old and New? 183
Mercantile Encounters
Spiritual Encounters
Military Encounters
Epilogue: An Enduring Encounter 231
Encountering Native America: The Museum at Warm Springs
The Medicine Wheel: Archaeological Enigma or Consecrated Ground
Appendix 245
Notes 295
For Further Reading 299
Index 307
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