By Asa R. Randall

“A refined software of panorama concept to a lately crafted archaeological checklist of the St. Johns River.”— Cheryl Claassen, writer of Feasting with Shellfish within the Southern Ohio Valley: Archaic Sacred websites and Rituals
“Changes the way in which archaeologists conceptualize the dynamic relationships among hunter-gatherers and cultural landscapes in local North the US. anyone drawn to hunter-gatherer societies, panorama archaeology, old monuments, anthropogenic environments, the archaeology and environmental background of Florida and the yankee South, and the background of North American archaeology may still learn this book.”—Christopher B. Rodning, coeditor of Archaeological stories of Gender within the Southeastern United States
huge accumulations of old shells on coastlines and riverbanks have been lengthy thought of the results of rubbish disposal in the course of repeated foodstuff gatherings through early population of the southeastern usa. during this volume, Asa R. Randall provides the 1st new theoretical framework for analyzing such middens on account that Ripley Bullen’s seminal paintings sixty years in the past. He convincingly posits that those historic “garbage dumps” have been really burial mounds,  ceremonial accumulating areas, and sometimes habitation areas vital to the histories and social geography of the hunter-gatherer societies who equipped them.

Synthesizing greater than one hundred fifty years of shell mound investigations and smooth distant sensing information, Randall rejects the long-standing ecological interpretation and redefines those websites as socially major monuments that exhibit formerly unknown complexities concerning the hunter-gatherer societies of the Mount Taylor interval (ca. 7400–4600 cal. B.P.). suffering from weather switch and elevated scales of social interplay, the region’s population converted the panorama in unbelievable and significant methods. This pioneering quantity provides an alternative historical past from which emerge wealthy information about the day-by-day actions, ceremonies, and burial rituals of the archaic St. Johns River cultures. 

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Additional info for Constructing Histories: Archaic Freshwater Shell Mounds and Social Landscapes of the St. Johns River, Florida

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John’s [sic] are refuse heaps simply, and in them refuse alone can be expected under ordinary circumstances,” and any stratification within shell mounds was “of course a matter of accident” (Moore 1892: 913–914). Despite this opinion he suggested in his earliest synthetic paper of shell mounds that variation in shell composition reflected different modes and intensities of refuse disposal and living. For example, he suggested that crushed shell lenses were likely the result of trampling, while whole shell strata were the result of dumping episodes and lacked significant post-depositional trampling (Moore 1892: 915).

In this respect, the patterns identified at the Hontoon Dead Creek Village provide a framework for examining the biographies of Mount Taylor shell mounds distributed throughout the study region. I show how later communities used two different ritualized depositional practices to either reproduce or transform a place. Although each place had a complex history of abandonment and reuse, acts of capping a place of prior inhabitation and replacing it with a new kind of social domain were dominant themes running throughout the Mount Taylor period.

Interior riverine exploitation is centered on the Ohio River valley and the St. 1). Shellfishing emerged as early as the ninth millennium in the Midsouth (Claassen 2010: 5; Dye 1996). The most widely recognized tradition is the so-called “Shell Mound Archaic” (SMA), a term originally applied to all shell-bearing sites dating to the middle Holocene. SMA is now preferentially used to refer to shell matrix sites of the Ohio River valley (Sassaman 2004b). Particularly high densities of shell mounds and small shell sites have been documented along the Ohio River, the Green River, the Cumberland River, and the Tennessee River and certain tributaries (Claassen 2010; Marquardt and Watson 2005).

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