By Asa R. Randall
“Changes the way in which archaeologists conceptualize the dynamic relationships among hunter-gatherers and cultural landscapes in local North the USA. anyone drawn to hunter-gatherer societies, panorama archaeology, historical monuments, anthropogenic environments, the archaeology and environmental background of Florida and the yankee South, and the historical past of North American archaeology should still learn this book.”—Christopher B. Rodning, coeditor of Archaeological reports of Gender within the Southeastern United States
huge accumulations of old shells on coastlines and riverbanks have been lengthy thought of the results of rubbish disposal in the course of repeated nutrients gatherings by way of early population of the southeastern usa. during this volume, Asa R. Randall provides the 1st new theoretical framework for analyzing such middens due to the fact Ripley Bullen’s seminal paintings sixty years in the past. He convincingly posits that those historical “garbage dumps” have been really burial mounds, ceremonial collecting locations, and sometimes habitation areas crucial to the histories and social geography of the hunter-gatherer societies who equipped them.
Synthesizing greater than one hundred fifty years of shell mound investigations and sleek distant sensing information, Randall rejects the long-standing ecological interpretation and redefines those websites as socially major monuments that demonstrate formerly unknown complexities concerning the hunter-gatherer societies of the Mount Taylor interval (ca. 7400–4600 cal. B.P.). tormented by weather switch and elevated scales of social interplay, the region’s population transformed the panorama in fantastic and significant methods. This pioneering quantity offers an alternative heritage from which emerge wealthy information about the day-by-day actions, ceremonies, and burial rituals of the archaic St. Johns River cultures.
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Extra resources for Constructing Histories: Archaic Freshwater Shell Mounds and Social Landscapes of the St. Johns River, Florida
The most widely recognized tradition is the so-called “Shell Mound Archaic” (SMA), a term originally applied to all shell-bearing sites dating to the middle Holocene. SMA is now preferentially used to refer to shell matrix sites of the Ohio River valley (Sassaman 2004b). Particularly high densities of shell mounds and small shell sites have been documented along the Ohio River, the Green River, the Cumberland River, and the Tennessee River and certain tributaries (Claassen 2010; Marquardt and Watson 2005).
In addition to referring to the Archaic period as characterized by “monotonous sameness” (Fogelson 1989: 139), he suggests that Native American communities were largely ahistorical and slowly changing, or “cold” in Levi-Strauss’s (1966: 233) terms, only becoming historical in the centuries leading up to, and following, contact with the West (Fogelson 1989: 139). The implication of his view is that it was only later in time, and then into the Colonial era, that Native Americans experienced sufficient change and social complexity that Shell Mounds and Hunter-Gatherers in Prehistory 31 they would reflect upon and transform their own histories to incorporate contemporary concerns.
He identified many variations on a theme: isolated linear or crescent-shaped ridges, immense complexes with multiple mounds, and even small heaps that were all primarily composed of freshwater shellfish remains. He also noted smaller mounds of sand, sometimes associated with shell ridges but often set apart. 3). In most he found incontrovertible evidence for the mounds’ artificial origins in the form of pottery, stone and bone tools, and even human remains. He also identified variations in the thickness and composition of shell deposits, noting that many strata lacked anything but shell.
Constructing Histories: Archaic Freshwater Shell Mounds and Social Landscapes of the St. Johns River, Florida by Asa R. Randall