Mississippian in the Deep South: Common Themes in Varied Histories

Adam King

in The Oxford Handbook of North American Archaeology

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

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Mississippian in the Deep South: Common Themes in Varied Histories

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  • Archaeology of North America



This article focuses on illustrating three points regarding Mississippian societies of the Deep South—that is, people who grew corn, built platform mounds, and practiced social ranking. The first is that there is a great deal of variation in how Mississippian societies (from sometime after AD 1000 to the coming of Europeans) looked and operated in this region. The second point is that, despite this variation, there are a set of common elements out of which Mississippian societies emerged. Finally, the history of all Mississippian centers is marked by radical transformations that resulted in either abandonment or restructuring of those centers and their meaning. In illustrating these points, the article uses two archaeological examples: the Etowah River valley of northwestern Georgia and the middle Savannah River valley separating central South Carolina from central Georgia.

Keywords: Deep South; Mississippian societies; platform mounds; social ranking; Etowah River valley; Savannah River valley

Article.  5107 words. 

Subjects: Archaeology ; Archaeology of North America

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