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Lecture 7

Lecture 7 – Eastern Late Archaic

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Western University
Anthropology 2231F/G
Christopher Ellis

Lecture 7 – Eastern Late Archaic  People starting to become more sedentary o Especially in east, mostly coastal areas o E.g. Horr’s Island, Florida – 5,200-4,500 BP  Village, close to marine shell (oyster) midden (300m long, 5m deep)  Substantial housing, also built mounds o Settlement could have started earlier, but sea levels were lower, most sites would now be underwater o Evidence of people as far north as the Labrador coast (multi-family longhouse dwellings) – sometimes called the Maritime Archaic  Plant Cultivation o Deliberately started to plant and grow certain plants, not large scale like it would be later o Started about 4,000 BP, evidence of plants that had been changed from their wild form  Could have started earlier, takes a while for plants to appear as domesticated (morphological changes)  Southern Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee area – the “Heartland” o Domesticated most plants, but they were eventually abandoned  E.g. sunflower (Hayes Site, TN – 4,200 BP), sumpweed (4,000 BP), goosefoot/chenopodium (3,500 BP) – Napoleon Hollow  Abandoned when maize was brought from Mesoamerica (more productive)  Traits of Domesticates: larger seeds, thinner seed coats, germinate faster o Women tended the crops, invented agriculture in the southeast o Allowed people to become more sedentary  Introduction of Non-Organic, Inflexible Containers o Used to use gourds, bark/wood and other organic/natural containers o Disadvantages: cant cook directly over fire, leak, don’t retain heat very well o Stone-Boiling: heat rocks to high temperature in fire then put in water, grit in food, takes a long time, coastal plains/river valleys – difficult to find rocks/hard to transport o Solution: make clay balls to use instead of rocks, disadvantage – had to make them o Rock Containers: Soapstone (steatite), carved bowls (around 4,000 BP), low bowls with flat bottoms and handles, soapstone found in areas in no
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