Midwestern Taxonomic System

'Midwestern Taxonomic System' can also refer to...


More Like This

Show all results sharing this subject:

  • Archaeology


Show Summary Details

Quick Reference


A cultural‐historical classification for eastern parts of North America developed by W. C. McKern and colleagues during the 1930s. Based on artefact classifications, the system was at first simply a taxonomy with no direct relationship to time or space. A hierarchy of traits reflected in specific items and assemblages was created, the smallest unit being a component (a site or a layer within a site), gradually building up through focus, aspect, phase, and pattern, to base, which represented the most generalized grouping of cultural traits. In time, however, the system became sufficiently elaborate that its taxonomic categories acquired chronological and spatial definition.

Subjects: Archaeology.

Reference entries

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.