Academic department under which the project should be listed

RCHSS - Geography & Anthropology

Faculty Sponsor Name

Terry Powis

Abstract (300 words maximum)

During the Middle Woodland period (200 BC – AD 400), there was an increase of cultural complexity and the rise of a mortuary cult throughout much of eastern North America. This cult included a wide interaction network called the Hopewellian Interaction Sphere, which dates to the Middle Woodland period in the Mid-West. This interaction, which reached into the Southeast, involved the exchange of information between groups in both regions. This project uses spatial analysis through Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to identify patterns in site layout and organization by comparing settlements in both regions. The focus of testing will be between the Scioto River Valley in Central Ohio, one of the most important areas during this period with multiple religious centers, and the Etowah River Valley in Northwest Georgia, with only one major ceremonial center known as the Leake site. Archaeological investigations in both regions have shown that trade and exchange of ceramics occurred throughout much of the Middle Woodland period. However, it is unclear whether these groups shared much more beyond that. Of interest with this research is whether the nature, extent, and structure of settlement between both regions was also influenced by the economic relationship that was shared. Are there similarities in how sites in both regions were organized on the landscape, indicative of a close social relationship, or does the relationship not extend beyond material ties. This presentation will test various settlement models from both river valleys to determine how far-reaching these relationships actually were.

Disciplines

Archaeological Anthropology

Project Type

Poster

How will this be presented?

Yes, in person

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Comparison of Middle Woodland Settlement Models in Georgia and Ohio

During the Middle Woodland period (200 BC – AD 400), there was an increase of cultural complexity and the rise of a mortuary cult throughout much of eastern North America. This cult included a wide interaction network called the Hopewellian Interaction Sphere, which dates to the Middle Woodland period in the Mid-West. This interaction, which reached into the Southeast, involved the exchange of information between groups in both regions. This project uses spatial analysis through Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to identify patterns in site layout and organization by comparing settlements in both regions. The focus of testing will be between the Scioto River Valley in Central Ohio, one of the most important areas during this period with multiple religious centers, and the Etowah River Valley in Northwest Georgia, with only one major ceremonial center known as the Leake site. Archaeological investigations in both regions have shown that trade and exchange of ceramics occurred throughout much of the Middle Woodland period. However, it is unclear whether these groups shared much more beyond that. Of interest with this research is whether the nature, extent, and structure of settlement between both regions was also influenced by the economic relationship that was shared. Are there similarities in how sites in both regions were organized on the landscape, indicative of a close social relationship, or does the relationship not extend beyond material ties. This presentation will test various settlement models from both river valleys to determine how far-reaching these relationships actually were.

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