cover of book

Household Economy at Wall Ridge: A Fourteenth-Century Central Plains Farmstead in the Missouri Valley
edited by Stephen C Lensink, Joseph A. Tiffany and Shirley J. Schermer
University of Utah Press, 2020
eISBN: 978-1-60781-774-1 | Cloth: 978-1-60781-773-4
Library of Congress Classification F627.M6
Dewey Decimal Classification 977.774


Household Economy at Wall Ridge tells the story of a Native American household that occupied a lodge on the eastern Plains border during the early 1300s AD. Contributors use cutting-edge methods and the site’s unparalleled archaeological record to shed light on the daily technological, subsistence, and dietary aspects of the occupants’ lives. This work represents the first comprehensive study of a prehistoric Central Plains household in over half a century.

The research covers archaeobotany, zooarchaeology, dating, ceramics, lithics, bone and shell tools, diet, climate, ecology, and more. The study of plant and animal usage from the lodge stands as a tour de force of analytical methods, including stable isotope data that permit the discovery of dietary items missed by traditional studies. Many of these items have never been reported before from Central Plains sites. The book firmly sets the site’s occupancy at AD 1305, with a margin of error of only a few years. This result, based on high-precision dating methods, exceeds in accuracy all previously dated Plains lodges and provides a temporal backdrop for evaluating household activities.

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