Moundville in the Mississippian World

John H. Blitz

in The Oxford Handbook of North American Archaeology

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

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Moundville in the Mississippian World

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With the theme of culture change in mind, this article reviews Moundville's history as four sequential occupation periods: Moundville's Origins (AD 1020–1200), Moundville as a Fortified Town (AD 1200–1300), Moundville as a Ceremonial Center (AD 1300–1450), and Moundville's Decline (AD 1450–1600). Although culture change is continuous, the transitions between occupation periods were accompanied by significant shifts in values and practices. Life for Moundville's people differed in each period. Because extensive and detailed studies of Moundville are readily available, the article focuses on two aspects of cultural change in Moundville's history evident in the material remains: social memory and collective identity. Anthropologists use the concept of social memory to refer to how communities and groups construct shared perceptions about “the way things were in the past.”

Keywords: culture change; Moundville; occupation periods; values and practices; social memory; material remains

Article.  3977 words. 

Subjects: Archaeology ; Archaeology of North America

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