A Prehistory of North America

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Overview

A Prehistory of North America covers the ever-evolving understanding of the prehistory of North America, from its initial colonization, through the development of complex societies, and up to contact with Europeans.

This book is the most up-to-date treatment of the prehistory of North America. In addition, it is organized by culture area in order to serve as a companion volume to “An Introduction to Native North America.” It also includes an extensive bibliography to facilitate research by both students and professionals.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780205342013
  • Publisher: Pearson
  • Publication date: 8/15/2007
  • Series: Pearson Custom Anthropology Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 464
  • Sales rank: 1,259,166
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

In This Section

I. Author Bio

II. Author Letter

I. Author Bio

Mark Q. Sutton began his career in anthropology in 1968. While still in high school, he took advantage of the opportunity to participate in archaeological excavations conducted by the local Community College. He went on to earn a BA (1972), an MA (1977), and a Ph.D (1987) in anthropology. He has worked as an archaeologist for the US Air Force, the US Bureau of Land Management, various private consulting firms, and taught at a number of community colleges and universities. He taught at California State University, Bakersfield from 1987 to 2007 where he retired as Emeritus Professor of Anthropology. He now works for Statistical Research, Inc. in San Diego. Dr. Sutton works on understanding hunter-gatherer adaptations to arid environments but has also investigated entomophagy, prehistoric diet and technology, and optimal foraging theory. Dr. Sutton has worked at more than 120 sites in North America and has published over 160 books, monographs, and papers on archaeology and anthropology.

II. Author Letter

Dear Colleagues,

The purpose of this letter is to introduce you to a new treatment on the prehistory of North America. I have worked in North American archaeology and prehistory for the last 43 years and have taught the class for the last 20 or so. Most of my fieldwork has been in western North America, but I have visited other regions.

My undergraduate work was in California, my Masters was in the Southwest, and my PhD was on linguistic prehistory in the Great Basin and beyond. I have worked on over 100 sites and have published many site reports and synthetic treatments of regional prehistories. All of this has created an appreciation of the intricate connections between regions, peoples, and times. I continue to be active in both fieldwork and synthesis knowing that as we learn more about the past, our ideas and interpretation of that past will evolve.

In teaching classes on the prehistory of North America, I was disappointed by the available texts, primarily in what I considered the poor coverage of western North America. In 2000, I completed the first edition of a textbook on Native Peoples of North America (now in its fourth edition), which, following the Smithsonian Handbook series, was organized by culture area. I thought that a new treatment of North American Prehistory following that same basic organization would be useful and could serve as a companion volume to the Native North America book. So, in 2001, I began the 10-year odyssey to complete A Prehistory of North America.

What a job! There is so much information now available that the task of reviewing, distilling, organizing, and synthesizing all the data was almost too much. Bit by bit I worked through the material and fleshed out the chapters. I looked at many thousands of reference works and while I did not include them all, you can see that there are about 2,000 references in the bibliography. These references should serve as the starting point of virtually any term paper that a professor could assign to the student, removing one of the major excuses students use regarding term papers ("I couldn’t find anything"!).

As part of the idea of A Prehistory of North America being a companion volume to An Introduction to Native North America, the Prehistory book focuses on prehistory but mentions the ethnographic groups, while the Native America volume focuses on ethnography but mentions prehistory. I hope that this "transition" is useful.

It was also my goal to make the book short enough and easy enough to read that students would actually read it. I think it is also accessible to lay persons. I hope that you will find the book a great choice for you and your students. Of course, nothing is perfect (especially a first edition) and I am hoping for constructive feedback so I can improve the work if there is a second edition. Please let me know what you think and how I can improve the work, by emailing me at msutton@csub.edu.

Sincerely,

Mark Q. Sutton

Emeritus Professor of Anthropology

California State University, Bakersfield

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Introduction

1. The Study of the Past

1. North America Defined

2. The Climate of North America

1. Broad Periods in North American Prehistory

1. A Very Brief History of Archaeology in North America

2. Speculation

2. Discovery and Description

2. Chronologies and Culture Histories

2. Towards Explanation

2. New Approaches and Methods

2. Some Current Issues

Chapter 2. How and When: Peopling the New World

1. Pleistocene Geography and Environment

2. Some Important Pleistocene Animals

1. Issues in Dating

1. The Origins of Native Americans

1. Where Did Paleoindians Come From?

2. Linguistic Evidence

2. Biological Evidence: Morphology

2. Biological Evidence: DNA

2. Archaeological Evidence

1. How Did Paleoindians Get Into the New World?

2. A Land Route?

3. An Ice Free Corridor?

2. A Coastal Route?

1. How Many Migrations Were There?

2. Linguistic and Genetic Clues

2. Skeletal Data

2. Archaeological Evidence

1. When Did People Arrive in the New World?

2. The Clovis First Model

3. A Very Rapid Colonization

3. A Clovis Overkill?

2. The Pre-Clovis Model

3. A Very Early Entry

3. A Later Pre-Clovis Entry

2. Evaluating the Evidence

3. Genetic Clues

3. The Evidence from Northeast Asia

4. Environmental Conditions

4. The Archaeological Evidence

3. The Archaeological Evidence from Alaska

4. The Nenana Complex

4. The Denali complex

4. The Mesa Complex

4. Discussion

3. The North American Evidence

4. Meadowcroft Rockshelter

4. Pre-Clovis Mammoth Hunting?

4. Cactus Hill

4. Topper

Highlight 2.1 Pre-Clovis Poop?

4. A Few Other sites

4. The Iberian Connection

3. The South American Evidence

4. Monte Verde

4. Pedra Furada Rockshelter

4. Discussion

1 Where are We Now?

Chapter 3. A Paleoindian Continent

1. The Clovis Complex

2. Environment During Clovis Times

2. Clovis Technology

2. Clovis Adaptations

Highlight 3.1 Comet! A Clovis Killer?

1. Later Paleoindian Cultures

2. A Paleocoastal Tradition?

2. Paleoindians in Western North America

2. Paleoindians on the Plains

3. The Folsom Complex

3. The Midland Complex

3. The Plano Complex

3. The Cody Complex

2. Paleoindians in Eastern North America

1. The Transition to the Archaic

1. New Migrations

Chapter 4. Whales and Sleds: The Arctic

1. Geography and Environment

1. A Brief History of Research

1. Major Themes in Arctic Prehistory

1. Prehistory of the Western Arctic

2. The Paleoindian Period

2. The Paleoarctic Tradition

2. The Ocean Bay Tradition

2. The Aleutian Tradition

2. The Kodiak Tradition

2. The Arctic Small Tool Tradition

2. The Norton Tradition

Highlight 4.1 Cape Kruzenstern and The Old Whaling Culture

2. The Thule

1. Prehistory of the Eastern Arctic

2. The Pre-Dorset

2. Saqqaq

2. Independence I

2. Independence II

2. The Dorset

Highlight 4.2. Dorset Art

2. The Thule Expansion into the Eastern Arctic

Highlight 4.3 The Inuit and the Norse

1. Native Arctic Cultures at Contact

1. Further Reading

Chapter 5. Salmon and Potlatches: The Northwest Coast

1. Geography and Environment

1. A Brief History of Research

Highlight 5.1 Glacial Discoveries

1. Major Themes in Northwest Coast Prehistory

Highlight 5.2 The Potlatch

1. The Paleoindian Period

1. The Early Holocene

2. Northwest Coast Microblade Tradition

2. The Old Cordilleran Culture

1. The Middle Holocene

1. The Developed Northwest Coast Pattern

2. The DNWCP on the North Coast

2. The DNWCP on the Central Coast

3. The Locarno Beach Phase

3. The Marpole Phase

3. The Gulf of Georgia Phase

Highlight 5.3. Ozette: The Pompeii of the Northwest Coast

2. The DNWCP on the South Coast

1. Native Northwest Coast Cultures at Contact

1. Further Reading

Chapter 6. Roots and Pithouses: The Plateau

1. Geography and Environment

1. A Brief History of Research

Highlight 6.1 Foragers and Collectors

1. Major Themes in Plateau Prehistory

1. The Paleoindian Period

Highlight 6.2 The Great Missoula Floods

1. The Archaic

2. Windust

2. Cascade

Highlight 6.3. The Western Idaho Archaic Burial Complex

2. Nesikep Tradition

2. Plateau Pithouse Tradition

3. The Plateau Pithouse Tradition on the Canadian Plateau

Highlight 6.4. Keatley Creek

3. The Plateau Pithouse Tradition on the Columbia Plateau

1. Native Plateau Cultures at Contact

1. Further Reading

Chapter 7. Acorns and Diversity: California

Highlight 7.1 Acorns: The Wheat of Ancient California

1. Geography and Environment

1. A Brief History of Research

1. Major Themes in California Prehistory

1. The Late Pleistocene

2. The Clovis Complex

2. A Paleocoastal Tradition?

1. The Pleistocene-Holocene Transition

1. The Early Holocene

Highlight 7.2 The Millingstone Phenomenon

2. Northern California

2. The Central and Southern Coasts

2. The Sparsely Occupied Interior

1. The Middle Holocene

2. Acorns and Salmon in Northern California

2. Mortars and Shellmounds of the Central Coast

2. More Millingstones in Southern California

Highlight 7.3 The Western Nexus

2. The Beginnings of Intensification: The Central Valley and Mountains

2. The Hot Colorado Desert

1. The Late Holocene

2. Increasing Complexity: Northern California and the Central Coast

2. Money and Chiefdoms: The Santa Barbara Region

3. The Development of Chiefdoms

2. A Takic Expansion: Coastal Southern California

2. More Acorns in the Sierra Nevada

2. Growth and Elaboration in the Central Valley

2. “Lake” Times in the Colorado Desert

1. Baja California

2. The Early Occupation of Baja California

2. Southern Baja California

2. Central Baja California

2. Northern Baja California

1. Native Californian Cultures at Contact

1. Further Reading

Chapter 8. Marshes and Deserts: The Great Basin

1. Geography and Environment

1. A Brief History of Research

1. Major Themes in Great Basin Prehistory

1. The Paleoindian Period

1. The Paleoarchaic Period

1. The Archaic

2. The Early Archaic

2. The Middle Archaic

Highlight 8.1. Gatecliff Shelter

Highlight 8.2. Grasshoppers for Dinner Again?

2. The Late Archaic

Highlight 8.3. Lovelock Cave

3. A Numic Expansion

1. The Formative: Agricultural Societies of the Great Basin

2. The Virgin Anasazi

2. The Fremont

3. Fremont Origins

3. Fremont Economy and Organization

3. What Happened to the Fremont?

1. The Mojave Desert

1. Native Great Basin Cultures at Contact

1. Further Reading

Chapter 9. Pithouses and Pueblos: The Southwest

1. Geography and Environment

1. A Very Brief History of Research

1. Major Themes in Southwestern Prehistory

1. The Paleoindian Period

1. The Archaic

Highlight 9.1. Mesoamerican Influences in the Southwest

2. The Western Archaic

Highlight 9.2. Split Twig Figurines

2. The Northern Archaic

2. The Southern Archaic

2. The Advent of Agriculture

1. The Ancestral Puebloans (Anasazi)

2. The Basketmakers

3. Basketmaker II

3. Basketmaker III

2. The Puebloans

3. Pueblo I

Highlight 9.3. The Virgin Anasazi

3. Pueblo II

4. The Chaco Phenomenon

Highlight 9.4. Cannibalism!

Highlight 9.5. The Sinagua

3. Pueblo III

3. Pueblo IV

3. Pueblo V

1. The Mogollon

2. The Pit House Period

2. The Classic Period

2. The Postclassic Period

2. The Aggregation Period

2. The Late Period

Highlight 9.6. Mimbres

Highlight 9.7. Paquimé and the Casas Grandes World

1. The Hohokam

2. The Early Agricultural Hohokam

2. The Pioneer Period

2. The Colonial Period

2. The Sedentary Period

2. The Classic Period

2. The Post-Classic Period and Beyond

Highlight 9.8. The Salado Enigma

1. The Patayan

1. Native Southwestern Cultures at Contact

1. Further Reading

Chapter 10. Following Bison: The Plains

1. Geography and Environment

1. A Brief History of Research

1. Major Themes in Plains Prehistory

1. The Paleoindian Period

1. The Archaic

2. The Northern High Plains

3. Early Archaic

Highlight 10.1. Head-Smashed-In Bison Jump

3. Middle Archaic

3. Late Archaic

3. The Late Prehistoric

2. The Central and Southern High Plains

3. Early Mobile Foraging

3. Late Mobile Foraging

3. Middle Prehistoric

3. The Late Prehistoric

2. The Protohistoric Period on the High Plains

Highlight 10.2. Horses!

1. The Formative

2. Plains Woodland

2. Plains Village

3. Early Plains Village

3. Late Plains Village

Highlight 10.3. The Crow Creek Massacre

2. Plains Historic

1. Native Plains Cultures at Contact

1. Further Reading

Chapter 11. Corn and Villages: The Northeast

1. Geography and Environment

1. A Brief History of Research

1. Major Themes in Northeast Prehistory

1. The Paleoindian Period

2. The Early Paleoindian Period

2. The Middle Paleoindian Period

2. The Late Paleoindian Period

1. The Archaic

2. The Early Archaic

2. The Middle Archaic

2. The Late Archaic

3. The Lake Forest Archaic

Highlight 11.1. The Old Copper Complex

3. The Narrow Point Archaic

Highlight 11.2. The Red Ochre Burials

3. The Late Maritime Archaic

Highlight 11.3 The Development of Indigenous Agriculture in Eastern North America

1. The Woodland Tradition

2. The Early Woodland

3. The Adena Complex

3. Other Early Woodland Developments

2. The Middle Woodland

3. The Hopewell

2. The Late Woodland

3. Fort Ancient

3. The Iroquoian Late Woodland

Highlight 11.4. The Moatfield Ossuary

3. Other Late Woodland Groups

Highlight 11.5. The Oneota Tradition

I. Native Northeast Cultures at Contact

1. Further Reading

Chapter 12. Mounds and Towns: The Southeast

1. Geography and Environment

1. A Brief History of Research

1. Major Themes in Southeastern Prehistory

1. The Paleoindian Period

1. The Archaic

2. The Early Archaic

2. The Middle Archaic

Highlight 12.1 The Shellmound Archaic

2. The Late Archaic

3. Poverty Point

1. The Woodland Tradition

2. The Early Woodland

2. The Middle Woodland

3. The Hopewell in the Southeast

3. Other Middle Woodland Cultures

2. The Late Woodland

1. The Mississippian Tradition

2. The Structure of Mississippian Societies

3. Mississippian Political Organization

Highlight 12.2 The State of the State

3. The Mississippian Economy

3. Mississippian Ideology

2. The Rise of Mississippian Polities

3. Emergent Mississippian

3. Middle Mississippian

3. Late Mississippian

Highlight 12.3 The Southeast Ceremonial Complex

3. Some Mississippian Polities

4. Chaokia

4. The Caddo

4. Moundville

4. Etowah

1. Native Southeastern Cultures at Contact

1. Further Reading

Chapter 13. Moose and Fish: The Subarctic

1. Geography and Environment

1. A Brief History of Research

1. Major Themes in Subarctic Prehistory

1. The Paleoindian Period

1. The Paleoarctic

2. The Arctic Small Tool Tradition

2. Pre-Dorset

1. The Northern Archaic

1. The Shield Archaic

2. The Tahtheilei Tradition

1. The Shield Woodland

1. Native Subarctic Cultures at Contact

1. Further Reading

Chapter 14. Epilogue: After Prehistory

1. Outside Contacts with Native Americans

1. The Impact of European Contact

2. The Spanish Mission System

2. European Diseases and Population Decline

1. A Few Examples of Contact Studies

2. Gender and the Dakota

2. Cultures in Contact: Colony Ross, California

Glossary

References

Index

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