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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."
“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