The Effigy Mound to Oneota Revolution in the Upper Mississippi River Valley

Robert F. Boszhardt

in The Oxford Handbook of North American Archaeology

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

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 The Effigy Mound to Oneota Revolution in the Upper Mississippi River Valley

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The Upper Mississippi Valley (UMV) represents an environmental and cultural cross-road. Geographically, this region is dominated by the north–south corridor of the Mississippi River, which connects a northern glacial lakes region with the confluences of the Ohio and Missouri Rivers in the midcontinent and southward to the Gulf of Mexico. Biologically, the UMV is crossed by the northern edge of the Prairie Peninsula, with an associated resource-rich ”tension zone” between mixed forests to the north and east, and savannah/prairie to the south and west. At this geographic and biological intersection lies a distinct topographic subregion called the “Drift less Area,” which played a key role in the transition from Late Woodland horticulturalists to Oneota farmers. This unglaciated terrain covers much of southwestern Wisconsin, extending into Illinois, Iowa, and Minnesota. It is a dynamic landscape of deep valleys carved into sandstone and limestone formations.

Keywords: Upper Mississippi Valley; northern glacial lakes; Drift less Area; Oneota farmers; limestone formations; unglaciated terrain

Article.  4274 words. 

Subjects: Archaeology ; Archaeology of North America

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