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Lecture 26 – Plains Village Period

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Western University
Anthropology 2231F/G
Christopher Ellis

Lecture 26 – Plains Village Period 1000-1100 AD  Corn, beans and squash very important o Had to develop very hardy varieties of these plants because of the climate, only have about 100 frost-free days o Tobacco and sunflower also used greatly o One of the latest areas where people adopted maize o Many of modern commercial crops were first developed by Eastern Plains groups  Evidence of influence from the Mississippian o Cultigens coming in from the east o Pottery very similar  Villages located on bluffs of river valleys o Gardens and fields located in the valley o River floods every spring which replenishes the soils o No fortifications – suggests there weren’t any unfriendly relationships with neighbouring groups o Little planning in the layout of the villages  Houses o About 5-10 houses, small houses (2-3 meters across)  Single or extended families o About 50-60 people living in the villages o May have been occupied year round o Semi-subterranean o Called earth lodges - covered with earth and sod to insulate them Trends During Plains Village Period  1. Larger settlements o By 1400, could have as many as 100 houses o 1000+ people  2. Larger houses o Multi-family dwellings o Matrilineages o 20-25 meters across o More rectangular in shape o Semi-subterranean o Sedentary  3. Fortified Villages o 1400  Earliest tend to have more circular ditches around them  Also usually had a palisade  May have had a single bastion o 1500  More square palisade around villages  Bastions all around the palisade  Improvements in defense, probably needed  E.g. Huff Village site o Increasing Warfare  E.g. Crow Creek Site (1300-1400 AD) 
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