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Moundbuilders : Ancient Peoples of Eastern North America - George Milner


Ancient Peoples of Eastern North America

Paperback Published: 1st April 2005
ISBN: 9780500284681
Number Of Pages: 224

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Nineteenth-century explorers of the American continent were amazed to find great monuments built of earth in the Eastern Woodlands. Thousands of these mounds were discovered in the plains and forests some up to a hundred feet high, some overgrown hillocks, some conical, others flat topped. Speculation was rife as to the identity of the moundbuilders. As George Milner shows, research over the past century demonstrates conclusively that Native Americans built these mounds. In a period ranging from 3000 BC to the sixteenth century AD, North American Indians quarried tons of earth to form the monuments, which vary widely in location, size and purpose. Some contained thousands of burials, others served as platforms for chiefs' residences, and many were low lying "effigy" mounds in the form of serpents, panthers and other sacred beasts. Moundbuilding was a key element in society how people worshipped gods, buried the dead, remembered their ancestors and respected their leaders and many beautiful objects have been found inside the mounds, including artifacts of shell, copper and mica. "The Moundbuilders covers the entire sweep of Eastern Woodlands prehistory, with an emphasis on how societies developed from hunter gatherers to village farmers and town-dwellers. Great strides have been made in recent research and many of the most impressive mounds, such as Poverty Point, Cahokia and Moundville, are described and discussed in detail. This wide ranging and copiously illustrated book, complete with information on dozens of sites to visit, is the perfect guide to the region for tourists, archaeologists and students.

Industry Reviews

"'George Milner has jettisoned the jargon... archaeologists, students and other interested readers can all find something of value in this book' - Southeastern Archaeology"

Prefacep. 7
Chronological Tablep. 9
A Heavily Forested and Thinly Peopled Landp. 11
The Eastern Woodlandsp. 11
Doing archaeologyp. 15
Box feature: "Preserve these beautiful eminences"p. 18
Mobile Hunter-Gatherers: Paleoindian and Early Archaicp. 22
Beringia and beyondp. 22
The Paleoindiansp. 25
Box feature: Population growthp. 28
Mobile Archaic foragersp. 31
Sedentary Hunter-Gatherers: Middle to Late Archaicp. 34
Containers and campsp. 35
Growing native plantsp. 42
Alliances and antagonismsp. 43
Box feature: Moving earth at Poverty Pointp. 44
Early moundsp. 47
Builders of Burial Mounds and Earthworks: Early to Middle Woodlandp. 54
Burial moundsp. 56
Box feature: Stacked cemeteries at Robbins moundsp. 58
Ceremonial platformsp. 71
Geometric and irregular earthworksp. 73
Box feature: A remarkable site: Hopewellp. 81
Precious objectsp. 82
Where they livedp. 85
Box feature: The move toward agriculturep. 86
Cultivating gardensp. 88
The nature of these societiesp. 91
Villagers Facing Great Change: Late Woodlandp. 105
Small moundsp. 106
Box feature: Feasts at Toltecp. 112
Scattered enclosuresp. 113
Villages become commonplacep. 114
The switch to maizep. 117
Life within groupsp. 119
Deteriorating relationsp. 120
A period of transitionp. 121
Chiefs Come to Power: Mississippianp. 124
Mounds for chiefsp. 124
Box feature: An amazing discovery at the Craig Moundp. 130
Box feature: The biggest of them all: Cahokiap. 134
Artifacts and symbolsp. 136
Where they livedp. 141
Box feature: A suitably named site: Moundvillep. 146
Scattered chiefdomsp. 150
What they atep. 151
Chiefs and followersp. 153
Friends and foesp. 161
Box feature: Mesoamerican contacts?p. 162
The rise and fall of chiefdomsp. 165
Northern Villagers: Late Prehistoryp. 177
Burial in moundsp. 178
Box feature: Death at Norris Farms no. 36p. 180
The shift to cropsp. 182
Village lifep. 183
Clusters of settlementsp. 187
A Trail of Tears: Native American and European Contactp. 190
The last moundsp. 190
Depopulation and removalp. 192
Guide to Eastern Woodlands Sitesp. 199
Midwestp. 199
Southeastp. 201
Northeast and mid-Atlanticp. 203
Canadap. 203
Notes to the Textp. 204
Further Readingp. 208
Sources of Illustrationsp. 219
Indexp. 221
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780500284681
ISBN-10: 0500284687
Series: Ancient Peoples and Places Series
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 224
Published: 1st April 2005
Publisher: Thames & Hudson Ltd
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 24.13 x 15.88  x 1.91
Weight (kg): 0.68
Edition Number: 1
Edition Type: New edition