Document Details

Title The Temporal Distribution and Duration of Mississippian Polities in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, and Tennessee
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Abstract

To aid our understanding of prehispanic social change in a subcontinental context, this article presents data and analysis relating to the occupational histories of 351 Mississippian platform mound sites in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, and Tennessee. Based on the premise that sites with platform mounds served as the administrative and ritual centers for Mississippian polities, our study demonstrates that polities in the study area rose and fell with some regularity, and in many cases, new polities succeeded old ones in the same locations. Our work expands on a previous analysis of 47 northern Georgia area sites. Through a theoretical framework tailored for macroregional processes and a rule-based approach in collecting and standardizing data from previous work, this study serves as an example for incorporating different processes and regions to provide a more coherent and complete picture of the Mississippian macroregion. Our results show that polity cycling was typical in our study area, and we argue that the rise and fall of polities is best described within a theoretical framework emphasizing collapse and resilience. By treating collapse as a normal feature of Mississippian polities, we can better understand the interconnectedness of Mississippian polities across regions.

Contributors David J. Hally and John F. Chamblee
Citation

Hally, David J., and John F. Chamblee. 2019. The Temporal Distribution and Duration of Mississippian Polities in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, and Tennessee. American Antiquity 84(3). Cambridge University Press: 420–437. https://doi.org/10.1017/aaq.2019.31

Key Words adaptive cycles, Mississippian polity cycling, panarchy, resilience theory, Southeastern U.S.
File Date 2019
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