Changing Perspectives on the Archaeology of the Central by Michael J. O'Brien, Robert C. Dunnell

By Michael J. O'Brien, Robert C. Dunnell

Fourteen specialists research the present country of relevant Valley prehistoric examine and supply a tremendous touchstone for destiny archaeological examine of the area. The Mississippi Valley area has lengthy performed a serious function within the improvement of yankee archaeology and remains to be well known for the foremost examine of the early Fifties. To carry the archaeological list modern, fourteen principal Valley specialists tackle varied subject matters together with the distribution of artifacts around the panorama, inner configurations of huge fortified settlements, human-bone chemistry, and ceramic know-how. The authors exhibit that a lot is to be realized from the wealthy and sundry archaeological list of the zone and that the equipment and methods used to check the list have replaced dramatically during the last part century. working on the leading edge of present study suggestions, those archaeologists offer a clean examine previous difficulties in critical Mississippi Valley research.   

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He did, however, spend a few weeks in 1916 exploring several mound groups in Pemiscot, New Madrid, and Mississippi counties in southeastern Missouri. Moore's major work in Missouri was conducted at what he termed the Davis place (now known as Double Bridges) (Figure 16), a mound group on the north bank of Portage Open Bay (Moore called it Open Bayou), a crevasse channel of the Mississippi River that forms the dividing line between Pemiscot and New Madrid counties. html[20/10/2010 12:39:04] page_16 < previous page page_16 next page > Page 16 Mississippi Valley stems from Moore's investigations.

Ford supplied a rather sophisticated, if characteristically cryptic, rationalization of pottery classification: Each community that had reached a certain level of sophistication in pottery-making will be found to have been maintaining side by side several different vessel styles [read types]. . Between these centers, styles vary and trend toward those of other centers in rough proportion to the distances involved, subject of course to ethnic distributions and geographic factors. Thus we have in mind the concept of a continuously evolving regional pottery tradition, showing a more or less parallel development in and around a number of centers, each of which employs a number of distinct but related styles, each style in turn being in process of change both areally and temporally.

Where we are now counting types in tens, they will be counted in hundreds. (Phillips et al. 1951:426) The authors did a remarkable job of predicting future developments in the archaeology of the central Mississippi Valley. Types were recognized by Phillips, Ford, and Griffin (1951:64) as composites of various separate characterspaste, vessel form, surface treatment, and decorationand the authors reasoned that each character had its own history (see Ford 1938; Ford and Griffin 1937, 1938). Just as selecting the "characters" around which to construct a typological system was viewed as a trial-and-error exercise, so too was the decision about where to draw the line between one type and another.

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