Ancient Earthen Enclosures of the Eastern Woodlands

Edited by Robert C. Mainfort, Jr. and Lynne P. Sullivan

Foreword by Jerald T. Milanich, series editor

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"Some of the earliest archaeology conducted on the North American continent focused on earthen enclosure sites, yet ironically, in many ways such enclosures remain poorly understood to this day. Here is an insightful volume that takes a major step towards a more subtle comprehension of the purpose and uses, both sacred and secular, of earthwork sites spanning three millenia of Eastern Woodlands prehistory."--Vernon James Knight, University of Alabama
Early speculation about the pre-Columbian earthen enclosures of the eastern United States attributed them to ancient races of moundbuilders; 19th-century scholars assumed that prehistoric Amerindians used the sites strictly for ceremonial or defensive purposes. This collection will revolutionize the way archaeologists approach the study of enclosures: it clearly illustrates the difficulties in interpreting these sites, showing that their builders had widely diverse purposes. The authors draw on new data to present the full range of issues involved in enclosure research--from "dirt archaeology" to the theoretical. Contents Explaining Earthen Enclosures, by Robert C. Mainfort, Jr., and Lynne P. Sullivan Broken Circles, Owl Monsters, and Black Earth Midden: Separating Sacred and Secular at Poverty Point, by Jon L. Gibson Prehistoric Enclosures in Louisiana and the Marksville Site, by Dennis Jones and Carl Kuttruff Defining Space: An Overview of the Pinson Mounds Enclosure, by Robert L. Thunen Boundaries, Resistance, and Control: Enclosing the Hilltops in Middle Woodland Ohio, by Robert V. Riordan Architectural Grammar Rules at the Fort Ancient Hilltop Enclosure, by Robert P. Connolly The Archaeology of the Newark Earthworks, by Bradley T. Lepper Is the Newark Circle-Octagon the Ohio Hopewell "Rosetta Stone"? A Question of Archaeological Interpretation, by A. Martin Byers Defensive or Sacred? An Early Late Woodland Enclosure in Northeast Ohio, by Stephanie J. Belovich The Socioeconomic Role of Late Woodland Enclosures in Northern Lower Michigan, by Claire McHale Milner and John M. O'Shea Fortified Village or Mortuary Site? Exploring the Use of the Ripley Site, by Sarah W. Neusius, Lynne P. Sullivan, Phillip D. Neusius, and Claire McHale Milner Robert C. Mainfort, Jr., is sponsored research administrator of the Arkansas Archeological Survey, and associate professor of anthropology at the University of Arkansas. He is the coeditor of Societies in Eclipse and Mounds, Embankments, and Ceremonialism in the Midsouth. Lynne P. Sullivan is curator of anthropology and associate scientist in archaeology for the New York State Museum in Albany. She is the editor of The Prehistory of the Chickamauga Basin and Reanalyzing the Ripley Site: Earthworks and Late Prehistory on the Lake Erie Plain.

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"The volume is seminal pedagogically, thought-provoking, and presents compelling data and reinterpretations necessitating reassessments of assumed site functions, symbolism, construction, and socioeconomic parameters." -- Journal of Middle Atlantic Archaeology
--Journal of Middle Atlantic Archaeology

" User friendly enough to entertain a general audience, yet detailed enough to satisfy the intellectual appetites of avocational and professional archaeologists." ; " This volume goes well beyond simply proposing alternative interpretations. Rather, it literally redefines the ways in which archaeologists talk about and conceptialize prehistoric enclosures by placing direct emphasis upon their social, symbolic, and diachronic nature."
--Mississippi Archaeology

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