One hundred years of archaeological excavations at an important American landmark, the Shiloh Indian Mounds archaeological site, a National Historic Landmark
The Shiloh Indian Mounds archaeological site, a National Historic Landmark, is a late prehistoric community within the boundaries of the Shiloh National Military Park on the banks of the Tennessee River, where one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War was fought in April 1862. Dating between AD 1000 and 1450, the archaeological site includes at least eight mounds and more than 100 houses. It is unique in that the land has never been plowed, so visitors can walk around the area and find the collapsed remains of 800-year-old houses and the 900-meter-long palisade with bastions that protected the village in prehistoric times. Although its location within a National Park boundary has protected the area from the recent ravages of man, riverbank erosion began to undermine the site in the 1970s. In the mid-1990s, Paul Welch began a four-year investigation culminating in a comprehensive report to the National Park Service on the Shiloh Indian Mounds.
These published findings confirm that the Shiloh site was one of at least fourteen Mississippian mound sites located within a 50 km area and that Shiloh was abandoned in approximately AD 1450. It also establishes other parameters for the Shiloh archaeological phase. This current volume is intended to make information about the first 100 years of excavations at the Shiloh site available to the archaeological community.
In Buried Indians, Laurie Hovell McMillin presents the struggle of her hometown, Trempealeau, Wisconsin, to determine whether platform mounds atop Trempealeau Mountain constitute authentic Indian mounds. This dispute, as McMillin subtly demonstrates, reveals much about the attitude and interaction-past and present-between the white and Indian inhabitants of this Midwestern town.
McMillin's account, rich in detail and sensitive to current political issues of American Indian interactions with the dominant European American culture, locates two opposing views: one that denies a Native American presence outright and one that asserts its long history and ruthless destruction. The highly reflective oral histories McMillin includes turn Buried Indians into an accessible, readable portrait of a uniquely American culture clash and a dramatic narrative grounded in people's genuine perceptions of what the platform mounds mean.
Edward Palmer's Arkansaw Mounds
Edited and preface by Marvin D. Jeter University of Alabama Press, 2010 Library of Congress E78.A8P35 2010 | Dewey Decimal 976.701
Normal0falsefalsefalseMicrosoftInternetExplorer4During the 1880s a massive scientific effort was launched by the Smithsonian Institution to discover who had built the prehistoric burial mounds found throughout the United States. Arkansaw Mounds tells the story of this exploration and of Edward Palmer, one of the nineteenth century’s greatest natural historians and archaeologists, who was recruited to lead the research project. Arkansas was unusually rich in prehistoric remains, especially mounds, and became a major focus of the study. Palmer and his team of researchers discovered that the mounds had been built by the ancestors of the historic North American Indians, shattering the then-popular theory that a lost non-Indian race had built them.
Native American societies, often viewed as unchanging, in fact experienced a rich process of cultural innovation in the millennia prior to recorded history. Societies of the Hocking River Valley in southeastern Ohio, part of the Ohio River Valley, created a tribal organization beginning about 2000 bc.
Edited by Elliot M. Abrams and AnnCorinne Freter, The Emergence of the Moundbuilders: The Archaeology of Tribal Societies in Southeastern Ohio presents the process of tribal formation and change in the region based on analyses of all available archaeological data from the Hocking River Valley. Drawing on the work of scholars in archaeology, anthropology, geography, geology, and botany, the collection addresses tribal society formation through such topics as the first pottery made in the valley, aggregate feasting by nomadic groups, the social context for burying their dead in earthen mounds, the formation of religious ceremonial centers, and the earliest adoption of corn.
Providing the most current research on indigenous societies in the Hocking Valley, The Emergence of the Moundbuilders is distinguished by its broad, comparative overview of tribal life.
For more than a hundred years, archaeologists have investigated the function of earthen platform mounds in the American Southwest. Built by the Hohokam groups between A.D. 1150 and 1350, these mounds are among the few monumental structures in the Southwest, yet their use and the nature of the groups who built them remain unresolved. Mark Elson now takes a fresh look at these monuments and sheds new light on their significance. He goes beyond previous studies by examining platform mound function and social group organization through a cross-cultural study of historic mound-using groups in the Pacific Ocean region, South America, and the southeastern United States.
Using this information, he develops a number of important new generalizations about how people used mounds. Elson then applies these data to the study of a prehistoric settlement system in the eastern Tonto Basin of Arizona that contained five platform mounds. He argues that the mounds were used variously as residences and ceremonial facilities by competing descent groups and were an indication of hereditary leadership. They were important in group integration and resource management; after abandonment they served as ancestral shrines. Elson's study provides a fresh approach to an old puzzle and offers new suggestions regarding variability among Hohokam populations. Its innovative use of comparative data and analyses enriches our understanding of both Hohokam culture and other ancient societies.
The Mound Builders
Robert Silverberg Ohio University Press, 1986 Library of Congress E73.S572 1986 | Dewey Decimal 973.1
In Illinois, the one-hundred-foot Cahokia Mound spreads impressively across sixteen acres, and as many as ten thousand more mounds dot the Ohio River Valley alone. The Mound Builders traces the speculation surrounding these monuments and the scientific excavations which uncovered the history and culture of the ancient Americans who built them.
The mounds were constructed for religious and secular purposes some time between 1000 B.C. and 1000 A.D., and they have prompted curiosity and speculation from very early times. European settlers found them evidence of some ancient and glorious people. Even as eminent an American as Thomas Jefferson joined the controversy, though his conclusions—that the mounds were actually cemeteries of ancient Indians—remained unpopular for nearly a century.
Only in the late 19th century, as Smithsonian Institution investigators developed careful methodologies and reliable records, did the period of scientific investigation of the mounds and their builders begin. Silverberg follows these excavations and then recounts the story they revealed of the origins, development, and demise of the mound builder culture.
Henry Clyde Shetrone; with a new introduction by Bradley T. Lepper University of Alabama Press, 2004 Library of Congress E73.S55 2004 | Dewey Decimal 977.01
A Dan Josselyn Memorial Publication
A classic resource on early knowledge of prehistoric mounds and the peoples who constructed them in the eastern United States.
With this accessible volume, Henry Clyde Shetrone made available to general readers the archaeological research data and conclusions concerning the ancient mounds and earthworks that dot the landscape of eastern North America. Dismissing popularly held theories of mysterious giants who built these structures, he explained that their purposes were defensive and ceremonial, that they had been used for habitation, burial, and worship. Their builders were antecedents of the native peoples of present-day America and had been skilled artisans and engineers with successful agricultural practices and structured leadership.
Twenty chapters discuss aspects of mound-builder cultures: quarrying of flint and obsidian for knapping into points; mining of copper and iron and its fashioning into tools and ceremonial objects; spinning and weaving materials and methods; smoking customs; carving of calumets and their use in ceremony; freshwater pearls and other items for body ornamentation; and the use of stone burial vaults, cremation basins, and concepts of an afterlife. Data is presented from excavations ranging broadly from Massachusetts to Florida and from Texas to North Dakota.
As Bradley Lepper points out in his new introduction, "The Mound-Builders is a testament to Shetrone's success at working towards 'correlation and systematization' of data, as well as public education. . . . Shetrone was no armchair popularizer. His work was based on years of excavation and first-hand familiarity with much of the data. His popularizations [still] echo with the ring of the shovel and trowel in gravelly soil."
Pinson Mounds: Middle Woodland Ceremonialism in the Midsouth is a comprehensive overview and reinterpretation of the largest Middle Woodland mound complex in the Southeast. Located in west Tennessee about ten miles south of Jackson, the Pinson Mounds complex includes at least thirteen mounds, a geometric earthen embankment, and contemporary short-term occupation areas within an area of about four hundred acres. A unique feature of Pinson Mounds is the presence of five large, rectangular platform mounds from eight to seventy-two feet in height. Around A.D. 100, Pinson Mounds was a pilgrimage center that drew visitors from well beyond the local population and accommodated many distinct cultural groups and people of varied social stations. Stylistically nonlocal ceramics have been found in virtually every excavated locality, all together representing a large portion of the Southeast. Along with an overview of this important and unique mound complex, Pinson Mounds also provides a reassessment of roughly contemporary centers in the greater Midsouth and Lower Mississippi Valley and challenges past interpretations of the Hopewell phenomenon in the region.
The people of Taquile Island on the Peruvian side of beautiful Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the Americas, are renowned for the hand-woven textiles that they both wear and sell to outsiders. One thousand seven hundred Quechua-speaking peasant farmers, who depend on potatoes and the fish from the lake, host the forty thousand tourists who visit their island each year. Yet only twenty-five years ago, few tourists had even heard of Taquile. In Weaving a Future: Tourism, Cloth, and Culture on an Andean Island, Elayne Zorn documents the remarkable transformation of the isolated rocky island into a community-controlled enterprise that now provides a model for indigenous communities worldwide.
Over the course of three decades and nearly two years living on Taquile Island, Zorn, who is trained in both the arts and anthropology, learned to weave from Taquilean women. She also learned how gender structures both the traditional lifestyles and the changes that tourism and transnationalism have brought. In her comprehensive and accessible study, she reveals how Taquileans used their isolation, landownership, and communal organizations to negotiate the pitfalls of globalization and modernization and even to benefit from tourism. This multi-sited ethnography set in Peru, Washington, D.C., and New York City shows why and how cloth remains central to Andean society and how the marketing of textiles provided the experience and money for Taquilean initiatives in controlling tourism.
The first book about tourism in South America that centers on traditional arts as well as community control, Weaving a Future will be of great interest to anthropologists and scholars and practitioners of tourism, grassroots development, and the fiber arts.