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The Eastern Dispersal of Adena*

  • William A. Ritchie (a1) and Don W. Dragoo (a2)


In the upper Ohio Valley, Adena mounds and their burials are less complex than, but essentially similar to, those of the major Adena centers of Ohio and Kentucky. Chronologically, they belong in the middle and late Adena periods. Two Adena sites much farther east have been found on Chesapeake Bay; they are closer in trait inventories and in radiocarbon dates to upper Ohio Valley sites than to Adena sites farther west. A reappraisal of evidence from the Northeast, particularly the Middlesex focus of New York, strongly suggests the movement of Adena people as far as the St. Lawrence River, although the proportion of Adena traits diminishes as distance from the Ohio Valley increases. Still another Adena dispersal, probably contemporaneous with this one, has previously been postulated to account for the Copena complex of Tennessee and Alabama. The cause of these rapid and far-reaching movements was probably the arrival or growth of Hopewell people in Illinois and Indiana and soon after in Ohio.



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Adaptation of paper given at the 23rd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology at Norman, Oklahoma, May 3,1958. Condensed from a larger account to be published elsewhere. Published by permission of the Assistant Commissioner, New York State Museum and Science Service, Journal Series No. 31.

We have both had the advantage of a firsthand examination of the Adena materials in the Museum of Anthropology at the University of Kentucky and in the Ohio State Museum, through the courtesy of William S. Webb and Charles E. Snow of the former institution, and Raymond S. Baby at the latter. We also wish to record our appreciation to T. Latimer Ford of the Archeological Society of Maryland for the opportunity of examining the large collection from the West River and Sandy Hill sites at the Maryland Academy of Sciences, and for the loan of photographs and Other data.



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The Eastern Dispersal of Adena*

  • William A. Ritchie (a1) and Don W. Dragoo (a2)


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