Origins of the Hopewell Phenomenon

Douglas K. Charles

in The Oxford Handbook of North American Archaeology

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

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Origins of the Hopewell Phenomenon

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The Hopewell phenomenon of the American Midwest is known for its geometric earthworks and burial mounds, importation and exchange of exotic materials, skilled crafting of objects, widely shared symbolism and design motifs, and elaborate funerary practices. The first decade of this century has produced a burst of scholarship reassessing our understanding of Hopewell and the Middle Woodland period. Abrams (2009) presents a comprehensive overview of the current state of Hopewell research, particularly in the northern region comprising the modern states of Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. The material culture associated with the Hopewell phenomenon is generally recognized, but the social, economic, and political dynamics of Hopewell have yet to be definitively articulated.

Keywords: Hopewell; American Midwest; geometric earthworks; skilled crafting; political dynamics; social dynamics

Article.  3374 words. 

Subjects: Archaeology ; North American Archaeology

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