Plains Village

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A general term referring to the fourth of the five main cultural historical stages defined for the archaeology of the Great Plains of central North America: broadly the period c.ad 800–1400. The Plains Village Tradition is characterized by a wide diversity of essentially semi‐sedentary village‐based groups broadly divisible into those of the Southern Plains, Central Plains, Oneota, and middle Missouri. The subsistence base of all these groups was mainly maize and other tropical cultigens, although bison was a significant part of the diet in eastern areas. Many of the settlements were defended, with enclosed clusters of rectangular or square houses. Many of the Plains Village communities were in regular contact with each other and in the southwest area there was widespread contact with Pueblo communities to the southwest. Horses were introduced from the southwest in historic times and led to greater mobility, but this was short‐lived as the village tribes were gradually destroyed by European and American diseases, spirits, trade, war, and treaties.

Subjects: Archaeology.

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