Traces the sources of power and large-scale organization of prehistoric peoples among Archaic societies.
By focusing on the first instances of mound building, pottery making, fancy polished stone and bone, as well as specialized chipped stone, artifacts, and their widespread exchange, this book explores the sources of power and organization among Archaic societies. It investigates the origins of these technologies and their effects on long-term (evolutionary) and short-term (historical) change.
The characteristics of first origins in social complexity belong to 5,000- to 6,000-year-old Archaic groups who inhabited the southeastern United States. In Signs of Power, regional specialists identify the conditions, causes, and consequences that define organization and social complexity in societies. Often termed "big mound power," these considerations include the role of demography, kinship, and ecology in sociocultural change; the meaning of geometry and design in sacred groupings; the degree of advancement in stone tool technologies; and differentials in shell ring sizes that reflect social inequality.
Preface and Acknowledgments 000
1. Big Mounds, Big Rings, Big Power
Jon L. Gibson and Philip J. Carr 000
2. Late Archaic Fisher-Foragers in the ApalachicolaLower
Chattahoochee Valley, Northwest FloridaSouth Georgia/Alabama
Nancy Marie White 000
3. Measuring Shell Rings for Social Inequality
Michael Russo 000
4. Regional-Scale Interaction Networks and the Emergence of
Cultural Complexity along the Northern Margins of the Southeast
Richard W. Jefferies 000
5. The Green River in Comparison to the Lower Mississippi Valley
during the Archaic: To Build Mounds or Not to Build Mounds?
George M. Crothers 000
6. Cultural Complexity in the Middle Archaic of Mississippi
Samuel O. Brookes 000
7. The Burkett Site (23MI20): Implications for Cultural
Complexity and Origins
Prentice M. Thomas, Jr., L. Janice Campbell, and James R.
8. Poverty Point Chipped-Stone Tool Raw Materials: Inferring
Social and Economic Strategies
Philip J. Carr and Lee H. Stewart 000
9. Are We Fixing to Make the Same Mistake Again?
Joe Saunders 000
10. Surrounding the Sacred: Geometry and Design of Early Mound
Groups as Meaning and Function
John E. Clark 000
11. Crossing the Symbolic Rubicon in the Southeast
Kenneth E. Sassaman and Michael J. Heckenberger 000
12. Explaining Sociopolitical Complexity in the Foraging
Adaptations of the Southeastern United States: The Roles of
Demography, Kinship, and Ecology in Sociocultural Evolution
Randolph J. Widmer 000
13. The Power of Beneficent Obligation in First MoundBuilding
Jon L. Gibson 000
14. Archaic Mounds and the Archaeology of Southeastern Tribal
David G. Anderson 000
15. Old Mounds, Ancient Hunter-Gatherers, and Modern
George R. Milner 000
References Cited 000
Library of Congress Subject Headings for this publication: Mounds Southern States, Indians of North America Southern States Antiquities
Jon L. Gibson is Professor (Retired) of Anthropology at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and author of The Ancient Mounds of Poverty Point.
Philip J. Carr is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of South Alabama and editor of The Organization of North American Prehistoric Chipped Stone Tool Technologies.
"This volume aptly illustrates the very complex nature of Archaic societies that constructed the earliest earthworks in the New World and sets their activities in the broader context of their times."--John Kelly, Washington University at St. Louis
"The real value of Signs of Power is that several key chapters address central issues in archaeology, such as the nature of power, the meaning of socially constructed landscapes (i.e., mounds), technology, interaction, and social identity. The essays in this volume are valuable not only for the Southeastern archaeologist but also for anyone interested in the genesis of these particular phenomena in prehistory."