Early Mounds in the Lower Mississippi Valley

Joe Saunders

in Early New World Monumentality

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780813038087
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780813043128 | DOI:
Early Mounds in the Lower Mississippi Valley

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It is not possible to determine exactly when or where monumental architecture started in the Lower Mississippi Valley. Sometime after 5000 B.C., earthen mound building began and continued into the third millennium B.C. primarily west of the Mississippi River and in the eastern half of Louisiana. It is known that before 5000 B.C., a fishing-hunting-foraging economy had been established in north Louisiana and was continued through the Middle Archaic period. Current evidence suggests that the builders restricted their residential base to river valleys, with only a marginal occupation of upland areas adjacent to the mound sites. Despite sharing a similar economic base, each of the 13 known mound sites exhibit attributes unique unto themselves--with one exception, none of the mounds appear to have served as a mortuary site. As mysteriously as they began, Middle Archaic mound building ended ca. 3000 B.C.

Keywords: Lower Mississippi Valley; Middle Archaic mounds; monumental architecture

Chapter.  8582 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Prehistoric Archaeology

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