The Origins and Development of Farming Villages in the Northern Great Plains

Mark D. Mitchell

in The Oxford Handbook of North American Archaeology

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780195380118
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

The Origins and Development of Farming Villages in the Northern Great Plains


The emergence of villages—aggregated communities housing at least 100 people—marks a decisive transformation of the social landscape. People living in nucleated settlements structure their interactions with one another differently than people living in isolated homesteads or small hamlets. They mobilize labor differently, control access to social and material resources differently, and experience and exploit the environment differently. Each difference has consequences for gender roles, economic practices, household composition, the scope and character of suprahousehold social institutions, and the prevalence of collective violence. The Northern Plains is no exception: an account of the origins and development of aggregated communities there is crucial to a broader understanding of the social history of the region.

Keywords: social landscape; villages; social resources; material resources; social history; social institutions; collective violence

Article.  4691 words. 

Subjects: Archaeology ; Archaeology of North America

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