Historical Dictionary of Early North America

Historical Dictionary of Early North America

by Cameron B. Wesson
     
 

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Those unfamiliar with the prehistory of North America have a general perception of the cultures of the continent that includes Native Americans living in tipis, wearing feathered headdresses and buckskin clothing, and following migratory bison herds on the Great Plains. Although these practices were part of some Native American societies, they do not adequately

Overview

Those unfamiliar with the prehistory of North America have a general perception of the cultures of the continent that includes Native Americans living in tipis, wearing feathered headdresses and buckskin clothing, and following migratory bison herds on the Great Plains. Although these practices were part of some Native American societies, they do not adequately represent the diversity of cultural practices by the overwhelming majority of Native American peoples. Media misrepresentations shaped by television and movies along with a focus on select regions and periods in the history of the United States have produced an extremely distorted view of the indigenous inhabitants of the continent and their cultures. The indigenous populations of North America created impressive societies, engaged in trade, and had varied economic, social, and religious cultures. Over the past century, archaeological and ethnological research throughout all regions of North America has revealed much about the indigenous peoples of the continent. This book examines the long and complex history of human occupation in North America, covering its distinct culture as well as areas of the Arctic, California, Eastern Woodlands, Great Basin, Great Plains, Northwest Coast, Plateau, Southwest, and Subarctic. Complete with maps, a chronology that spans the history from 11,000 B.C. to A.D. 1850, an introductory essay, more than 700 dictionary entries, and a comprehensive bibliography, this reference is a valuable tool for scholars and students. An appendix of museums that have North American collections and a listing of archaeological sites that allow tours by the public also make this an accessible guide to the interested lay reader and high school student.

Editorial Reviews

CHOICE
The volume opens by concisely introducing the regional prehistoric culture sequences of the continent and providing valuable background on the Paleo-Indian, Archaic, Woodland, Southwestern, Mississippian, and European contact periods....Recommended. Most useful for university libraries supporting degree programs in anthropology, archaeology, and history, although museum libraries should consider it for their social science holdings.
American Reference Books Annual
To recognize the challenge of writing this reference, it is very useful to read the excellent foreword written by the editor of the series....Academic and public libraries will find this to be a valuable reference.
Reference and Research Book News
With 700 entries, this dictionary offers an introduction to the cultural diversity of early North America. Wesson...,both because of his specialty and because of the subject matter, gives the material a decidedly archaeological bent, including terms and concepts from the discipline along with entries on different cultural groups, places, and individuals. The scope of his dictionary ranges from the earliest known inhabitants to the late 19th century.
Choice
The volume opens by concisely introducing the regional prehistoric culture sequences of the continent and providing valuable background on the Paleo-Indian, Archaic, Woodland, Southwestern, Mississippian, and European contact periods....Recommended. Most useful for university libraries supporting degree programs in anthropology, archaeology, and history, although museum libraries should consider it for their social science holdings.
American Reference Books Annual (ARBA)
To recognize the challenge of writing this reference, it is very useful to read the excellent foreword written by the editor of the series....Academic and public libraries will find this to be a valuable reference.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780810850620
Publisher:
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date:
10/28/2004
Series:
Historical Dictionaries of Ancient Civilizations and Historical Eras Series, #15
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
5.96(w) x 8.72(h) x 0.89(d)

Meet the Author

Cameron B. Wesson is an associate professor of Anthropology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. His primary research focus is the political economy of the Native Americans of the Eastern Woodlands. He is the director of a long-term archaeological research project investigating the nature of Woodland period and Mississippian period archaeological sites in central Alabama. He is the author of numerous articles on the archaeology of southeastern North American and the forthcoming book, Households and Hegemony: Early Creek Prestige Goods, Symbolic Capital, and Social Power.

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