What is it about?

Indigenous farming societies of the Mississippi River Valley built large earthen monuments in much greater frequency around 1000 years ago. Why? What do these monuments mean? This study offers some theories on the interpretation of earthen mounds.

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Why is it important?

Findings from this article show that large-scale public works are often an early step in the integration and formation of complex societies. In this case, concomitant with the adoption of maize, beans, and squash agriculture, indigenous societies began building large, monumental centers as gathering places, and ultimately, as places for social and political elites to control.


I thoroughly enjoyed putting this article together and it represents the culmination of several years of fieldwork and analysis in north Mississippi, a fantastic and fantastical place, home of the Delta blues. I hope you find this article engaging and though-provoking and use it as a way to understand complex societies the world over.

Dr Jayur Madhusudan Mehta
Florida State University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Mound building and summit architecture at the Carson site, a Mississippian mound center in the southeastern United States, North American Archaeologist, April 2019, SAGE Publications,
DOI: 10.1177/0197693119863975.
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