This collection presents, for the first time, a much-needed synthesis of the major research themes and findings that characterize the Woodland Period in the southeastern United States.
The Woodland Period (ca. 1200 B.C. to A.D. 1000) has been the subject of a great deal of archaeological research over the past 25 years. Researchers have learned that in this approximately 2000-year era the peoples of the Southeast experienced increasing sedentism, population growth, and organizational complexity. At the beginning of the period, people are assumed to have been living in small groups, loosely bound by collective burial rituals. But by the first millennium A.D., some parts of the region had densely packed civic ceremonial centers ruled by hereditary elites. Maize was now the primary food crop. Perhaps most importantly, the ancient animal-focused and hunting-based religion and cosmology were being replaced by solar and warfare iconography, consistent with societies dependent on agriculture, and whose elites were increasingly in competition with one another. This volume synthesizes the research on what happened during this era and how these changes came about while analyzing the period's archaeological record.
In gathering the latest research available on the Woodland Period, the editors have included contributions from the full range of specialists working in the field, highlighted major themes, and directed readers to the proper primary sources. Of interest to archaeologists and anthropologists, both professional and amateur, this will be a valuable reference work essential to understanding the Woodland Period in the Southeast.
"1000 B.C.-A.D. 1000, the proverbial vacuum that Native and Southeastern archaeologists abhor? Well, no more! This volume provides wide ranging, up-to-date, and authoritative coverage of an important period in southeastern prehistory that, until now, has not received the emphasis it deserves."James Stoltman, University of Wisconsin
"This volume takes a big step in putting into print the latest and best research on the archaeology of the Woodland period in the Southeast. . . . There is something in this edited volume for anyone interested in the lives and times of native peoples during a critical period in the prehistory of the southeastern United States."Southeastern Archaeology