This richly illustrated book is the eighth of nine Classics in Southeastern Archaeology volumes based on Moore's investigations along the waterways of eastern North America.
This oversized reprint volume presents original materials from Moore's northernmost expeditions conducted in the early 1900s as he surveyed areas of potential archaeological interest in the southeastern United States. Some of the sites he found were later targeted for major excavations during the days of the WPA/CCC. Many National Register Historic Sites are today located along the rivers he explored in this work. In many cases, however, Moore's report documents sites since destroyed by river action or by lake impoundments behind hydroelectric dams or by looters.
As with all of Moore's other investigations, his thorough documentation and collaboration with other scholars advanced understanding of aboriginal peoples and fueled debate among the experts. For instance, more than 296 burials were recovered from Indian Knoll on the Green River in Kentucky. Some graves included ceremonially "killed" artifacts, dogs buried with both adults and children, and exotic materials leading to speculations concerning origins, usage, and trade networks. Stone box graves were widespread and somewhat exclusive to this area, giving rise to early assumptions regarding kinship between scattered modern Indian tribes.
Richard Polhemus has compiled a comprehensive inventory of Moore's work in Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, and Kentucky and written a concise introduction to place the work in context. In so doing, he has made available to contemporary scholars of history, archaeology, and anthropology a trove of resource material on one of the most archaeologically rich and artifact-diverse regions in the nation.