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Economic and Social Interactions in the Piedmont Village Tradition-Mississippian Boundarylands of Southeastern North America, AD 1200–1600

  • Eric E. Jones (a1), Maya B. Krause (a2), Caroline R. Watson (a3) and Grayson N. O'Saile (a4)

Abstract

This research seeks to understand the economic and social interaction patterns among dispersed Piedmont Village Tradition communities in the North American Southeast, AD 1200–1600. Piedmont Village Tradition communities lived adjacent to Mississippian societies and have been categorized as a peripheral society because of this spatial relationship. We examine economic behaviors by constructing fall-off curves of local versus nonlocal lithic material proportions at settlement sites and examining the reduction behaviors and tool types at sites. The results support a possible gateway model for the acquisition and distribution of nonlocal materials that linked spatially proximate communities. To examine social interaction patterns, we conducted a Brainerd-Robinson analysis of ceramic attributes from six sites and combined our results with work by Rogers (1993). The results show sites with stylistic similarities are not the same sites that share lithic resources. We conclude that these spatially non-overlapping artifact patterns result from a heterarchical social organization with a high degree of independence between economic and social interactions. Finally, we contextualize our results within the current knowledge of Mississippian and Piedmont Village Tradition societies in the region to broaden the discussion of gateways in reciprocity-based economies, societies traditionally thought of as peripheral to complex societies, and coalescence.

Este proyecto quiere entender los modelos interactivos sociales y económicos entre las comunidades de Piedmont Village Tradition en el Sureste de América del Norte, 1200–1600 dC. Los grupos de Piedmont Village Tradition vivían adyacente a las sociedades Mississippi, así que tradicionalmente han sido caracterizadas como sociedades periféricas. Caracterizamos los modos de funcionamiento económico a través de (1) construyendo las curvas “fall off” que comparan las proporciones del material lítico local y no local en los sitios Piedmont Village Tradition y (2) examinando en una muestra de sitios los niveles de reducción lítica y los tipos de herramientas líticas. Intentamos entender cómo fueron usado los materiales locales y no locales, y preguntamos qué nos revelan sobre los métodos de adquisición y distribución que empleaban las comunidades de Piedmont Village Tradition. Los resultados sugieren un modelo posible, que llamamos el “gateway”, que explica la configuración de la adquisición y distribución del material no local que vinculó las comunidades espacialmente cerca. Para examinar los modelos sociales e interactivos, empleamos el análisis Brainerd-Robinson. Este análisis nos permitió analizar los atributos cerámicos de seis sitios, y luego combinamos aquellos resultados con los de Rogers (1993). Los resultados revelan que los sitios con atributos cerámicos similares no siempre son los más próximos espacialmente ni son los sitios que comparten recursos líticos. Concluimos que las configuraciones espaciales entre material lítico y cerámico son distintos y resultan de una organización social heterárquico que mantiene independencia entre las interacciones sociales y económicas. Terminamos el análisis contextualizando nuestros resultados con lo que ya sabemos de las sociedades Mississippi y Piedmont Village Tradition en esta zona. Esta contextualización nos permite empezar una discusión de la presencia de los “gateways” en economías que se basen en reciprocidad, y también puede cambiar la manera en que estudiamos las sociedades periféricas y la coalescencia.

Copyright

Corresponding author

(jonesee@wfu.edu, corresponding author)

References

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Keywords

Economic and Social Interactions in the Piedmont Village Tradition-Mississippian Boundarylands of Southeastern North America, AD 1200–1600

  • Eric E. Jones (a1), Maya B. Krause (a2), Caroline R. Watson (a3) and Grayson N. O'Saile (a4)

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