The last prehistoric cultures to inhabit the Middle Ohio Valley (ca. A.D. 1000–1650) are referred to as Fort Ancient societies, which exhibited a wide variety of Mississippian period characteristics. What is less well-known and little understood are the social processes by which Mississippian characteristics spread to Fort Ancient communities. Through a comprehensive study of SunWatch, one of the few thoroughly excavated Fort Ancient settlements, the author focuses on the development of village social structure within a broad geographic and temporal framework, recognizing border areas as particularly dynamic contexts of social change. As a fundamental study of social patterning of Fort Ancient villages, this work reveals the interrelationships of small social units in culture change and social structure development and provides a full reconsideration of the Mississippian dimensions of Fort Ancient societies and a model for future investigations of larger patterning in the lateprehistory of the region.
“The book presents new data and new types of analyses for the SunWatch site and does have the potential to contribute to the literature. This is particularly true since very few books dealing with the Fort Ancient archaeological tradition have been published in recent years.”
—Penelope B. Drooker, author of Mississippian Village Textiles at Wickliffe
“Cook presents some interesting ideas regarding Fort Ancient society and the consequences of interaction between Fort Ancient societies and Mississippian societies.”—John Scarry, author of Political Structure and Change in the Prehistoric Southeastern United States
“SunWatch is an intriguing study that provides a window into the Fort Ancient literature, which is unfortunately all too sparse. . . . Its insights into Fort Ancient developments and its methodological approaches to identifying corporate groups and the emergence of leadership will ensure the volume a wide readership.”
—Northwest Ohio History