Building the Past:
Prehistoric Wooden Post Architecture in the Ohio Valley–Great Lakes

Edited by Brian G. Redmond and Robert A. Genheimer

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"This volume presents a much-needed synthesis of prehistoric wooden architecture in the greater Ohio region. The authors pursue new avenues of research in explaining architectural variation from rarely encountered Archaic domestic structures to large public buildings of Fort Ancient societies."--Cameron Lacquement, editor of Architectural Variability in the Southeast

"A significant contribution to the cultural history of the Ohio Valley and the archaeological literature on perishable architecture. The primary data and detailed descriptions of wooden post constructions make it a valuable resource."--Sissel Schroeder, University of Wisconsin-Madison


The study of ancient architecture reveals much about the social constructs and culture of the architects, builders, and inhabitants of the structures, but few studies bridge the gap between architecture and archaeology. This comprehensive examination of sites in the Ohio Valley, going as far north as Ontario, integrates structural engineering and wood science technology into the toolkit of archaeologists. Presenting the most current research on structures from pre-European contact, Building the Past allows archaeologists to expand their interpretations from simply describing postmold patterns to more fully envisioning the complex architecture of such critical locations as the Hopewell site, Moorehead Circle, and Brown’s Bottom.

The record of perishable architecture at these sites has proven difficult to interpret because it is often merely organic residues, including soil stains from decayed wall posts, charred timbers, or trenched wall foundations. Addressing new discoveries and presenting previously unpublished data, this volume is an invaluable resource for archaeologists investigating the diverse ways prehistoric societies manifested their social worlds in earth, wood, and stone.

Brian G. Redmond is John Otis Hower Chair of Archaeology at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and coeditor of Transitions: Archaic and Early Woodland Research in the Ohio Country. Robert A. Genheimer, Rieveschl Curator of Archaeology at the Cincinnati Museum Center, is the editor of Cultures Before Contact: The Late Prehistory of Ohio and Surrounding Regions.
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The most comprehensive and long-needed assemblage of information concerning structures in the greater Ohio area. . . .Should be a primary reference for scholars documenting and interpreting prehistoric and historic period structures, as well as for those engaged in experimental studies of such structures. Midcontinental Journal of Archaeology

This well-crafted and excellently edited volume focuses on recent excavations of sites spanning the Late Archaic (c. 2500 BC) to the Late Prehistoric (AD 1600), and covers a regional range from the shores of Lake Erie to the valleys of the Great Ohio River.-- Antiquity

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