By analyzing the pottery found at a well-known archaeological site, Hilgeman constructs the long-awaited timeline for the rise and decline of this ancient society.
Located near present-day Evansville, Indiana, the Angel site is one of the important archaeological towns associated with prehistoric Mississippian society. More than two million artifacts were collected from this site during excavations from 1939 to 1989, but, until now, no systematic survey of the pottery sherds had been conducted. This volume, documenting the first in-depth analysis of Angel site pottery, also provides scholars of Mississippian culture with a chronology of this important site.
Angel is generally thought to have been occupied from before A.D. 1200 to 1450, but scholars have been forced to treat this period as one chronological unit without any sense of the growth and decline of the society that occupied it. Using radiocarbon assays and an analysis of its morphological and stylistic attributes of pottery, Sherri Hilgeman is able to divide the occupation of Angel into a series of recognizable stages. She then correlates those stages with similar ones at other archaeological excavations—especially nearby Kincaid—making it possible to compare Angel society with other native cultures of the lower Ohio Valley. Through this important contribution to native pottery studies, Hilgeman opens a window into the lifeways of prehistoric Angel society and places that society in the larger context of Mississippian culture.