An Overview of the Suwannee Valley Culture

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:
An Overview of the Suwannee Valley Culture

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This chapter provides a stunning look at a cultural manifestation that gives every indication of a small-scale society with simple, nonhierarchical political organization in the archaeological record but is known historically to have been a complex chiefly society. The Suwannee Valley culture is a relative newcomer to the pages of Florida archaeology in that it was first defined in the early 1990s. Though rooted in the Mississippi period, the author effectively draws on primary Spanish accounts of the historic Timucua to expose the sociopolitical complexities of a chiefdom not apparent in the archaeological record. The discrepancy between the documentary and archaeological records leads one to wonder whether the dearth of typical Mississippian material correlates is a result of a complex form of organization that emerged very late in precolumbian times, leaving little hard evidence, or was something qualitatively different.

Keywords: Suwannee Valley culture; Timucua Indians; chiefdom

Chapter.  8134 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Prehistoric Archaeology

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