Early St. Johns II Interaction, Exchange, and Politics

Misha Klein

in Late Prehistoric Florida

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780813040141
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780813043821 | DOI:
Early St. Johns II Interaction, Exchange, and Politics

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This chapter examines St. Johns II groups in the far northeastern corner of the state. Perhaps nowhere in Florida were connections to the early Mississippian world stronger than in the St. Johns River valley. Highlighted by spatulate celts, copper long-nosed maskettes, and small copper plates, the spectacular Mississippi-period artifacts of the Mill Cove Complex were first brought to everyone's attention by C. B. Moore in the 1890s. This impressive list of mortuary items, combined with the fact that these St. Johns II communities were not Mississippian farmers, presents somewhat of a paradox. Eschewing a traditional prestige-goods economy interpretation that views the high-profile exotic items in mounds as instruments of power flaunted by elites, Ashley focuses more on the communal nature of ritual and mortuary ceremony and views burial mounds and grave goods as an expression of corporate identity.

Keywords: St. Johns II culture; Mill Cove Complex; exotics; Mississippian world

Chapter.  9219 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Prehistoric Archaeology

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