Publication Date

2000

Document Type

Dissertation/Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Department

Department of Anthropology

LCSH

Mississippian culture--Tennessee, West||Indians of North America--Tennessee, West--Antiquities||Indians of North America--Warfare--Tennessee, West

Abstract

The Mississippian period in the Southeastern United States was characterized by settlement hierarchies, intensive agriculture, and population growth. Each of these characteristics are argued to have led to endemic patterns of warfare within Mississippian communities. Although archaeological evidence in the form of warrior iconography and fortifications appears to support the notion of frequent, widespread warfare in the late prehistoric Southeast, osteological data is largely lacking. Only two single-site osteological analyses have been conducted to date pertaining to Mississippian warfare activities. This analysis examines the osteological and mortuary data of fourteen sites, including 632 individuals, within west-central Tennessee in order to provide a more holistic view of warfare activities during the Middle and Late Mississippian periods. Evidence for trophy-taking, embedded projectile points, stabbing, and blunt force trauma were each assessed, although only a total of eighteen individuals demonstrate evidence for possible warfare injury. Frequency of warfare varied considerably by site, and is shown to be the highest at sites peripheral to political centers. Although the threat of warfare may have been great at these centers, it appears that fortifications may have deterred attacks through intimidation. The general low frequency of warfare within the geographic region sampled does not support the theoretical arguments for endemic warfare patterns within the Mississippian time period.

Comments

Includes bibliographical references (pages [138]-149)

Extent

[xiii], 185 pages

Language

eng

Publisher

Northern Illinois University

Rights Statement

In Copyright

Rights Statement 2

NIU theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from Huskie Commons for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without the written permission of the authors.

Media Type

Text

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