Holocene Hunter-Gatherers of the Lower Ohio River Valley

Overview

By the Early Holocene (10,000 to 8,000 B.P.), small wandering bands of Archaic hunter-gatherers began to annually follow the same hunting trails, basing their temporary camps on seasonal conditions and the presence of food. The Pleistocene glaciers had receded by this time, making food more plentiful in some areas and living conditions less hazardous. Although these Archaic peoples have long been known from their primary activities as hunters and gatherers of wild food resources, recent evidence has been found ...

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Holocene Hunter-Gatherers of the Lower Ohio River Valley

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Overview

By the Early Holocene (10,000 to 8,000 B.P.), small wandering bands of Archaic hunter-gatherers began to annually follow the same hunting trails, basing their temporary camps on seasonal conditions and the presence of food. The Pleistocene glaciers had receded by this time, making food more plentiful in some areas and living conditions less hazardous. Although these Archaic peoples have long been known from their primary activities as hunters and gatherers of wild food resources, recent evidence has been found that indicates they also began rudimentary cultivation sometime during the Middle Holocene. Richard Jefferies—an Archaic specialist—comprehensively addresses the approximately 7,000 years of the prehistory of eastern North America, termed the Archaic Period by archaeologists. Jefferies centers his research on a 380-mile section of the Lower Ohio River Valley, an area rife with both temporary and long-term Archaic sites. He covers the duration of the Holocene and provides a compendium of knowledge of the era, including innovative research strategies and results. Presenting these data from a cultural-ecological perspective emphasizing the relationships between hunter-gatherers and the environments in which they lived, Jefferies integrates current research strategies with emerging theories that are beginning to look at culture history in creative ways

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"This volume explores the lifeways of Paleo-Indian and Archaic hunters and gatherers, from 12,500 to 3,000 years ago, along a 650-km stretch of the lower Ohio River to its confluence with the Mississippi River. Setting his story within the context of changing landscapes, environments, and resources of the Late Pleistocene and Holocene, Jefferies (Kentucky) presents trends in settlement, subsistence, trade networks, technological innovations, and social patterns through the establishment of modern climate. Eight chapters cover the physical landscape and paleoenvironments; an in-depth history of archaeological research; the first inhabitants and disappearance of late Pleistocene fauna; Early Holocene foragers; population increase and increased sedentism of the Middle Holocene; and the Late Holocene population explosion and establishment of sedentary communities. This core area of the lower Ohio witnessed the rise of cultural complexity based upon the exploitation of riverine, floodplain, and intervalley resources, domestication of native plants, and development of trade interaction that connected this region to societies from the Great Lakes to the Gulf coast. This well-illustrated volume is a masterful synthesis of cultural development and adaptation to an evolving landscape, setting the stage for the later rise in the same region of the most complex society in eastern North America, the Mississippians. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above."
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“A wonderful synthesis, well-written—a real pleasure to read. It incorporates the latest research, including published sources, gray literature, conference papers, and internet sources. The complete mastery of the data is a tribute to Dr. Jefferies’ years of work in the region.”—Marvin T. Smith, Valdosta State University

“This is a comprehensive, systematic treatment of existing archaeological knowledge about human populations that inhabited the lower Ohio River valley from the late Pleistocene to ca. 3000 years ago. It is tightly structured along chronological, spatial, and topical dimensions and is thus accessible to the reader seeking specific information. The bibliography alone will be of great value to a variety of researchers.”—Kenneth E. Sassaman, University of Florida

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780817355418
  • Publisher: University of Alabama Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/2009
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 1,516,192
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard W. Jefferies is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Kentucky.

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