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Lecture 9

Lecture 9 Part 1 – Early Woodland in Eastern North America

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Anthropology 2231F/G
Christopher Ellis

Lecture 9 Part 1 – Early Woodland in Eastern North America Adena: 500-200 BC  Ohio River Valley (Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia, southwest Pennsylvania)  Known almost solely based on burial mounds and ceremonial sites o Not necessarily one ethnic group  Artifacts and sites found far beyond the heartland, as far as Quebec and New Brunswick – influenced?  First wide-spread use of mounds, also almost exclusively burial mounds o Other structures can occur, most notably circular earthwork enclosures  Built up a ridge, ditch on the inside  100m across, quite large; only about 1m high  1 entrance cut into ridge, almost always facing a cardinal direction  Rows of paired posts, formed a sort of palisade  Sacred precincts o Many have been destroyed o Burial mounds: conical, number of individuals buried varies Accretional Mounds: not built all at once, built in stages over time with gradual additions  E.g. Mammoth Mound, West Virginia (about 21m high, 90 meters across); Robbins Mound, Kentucky (25 feet high)  Always built over structure, usually a circular building o Serves as a template, building torn or burnt down? o Thought it was a residential site; but have attempts at reconstruction, they cannot support a roof  Why they aren’t domestic houses: o 1. Unwieldy o 2. Only occur under the mounds o 3. Now have evidence of no-ceremonial houses were like, far less elaborate o 4. No evidence of domestic features or artifacts  Argued that: o They were woodhenges (always faced the rising sun, ceremonial value) o Posts in centre scaffolds for the dead o Charnal houses – hou
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