Constructing Histories: Archaic Freshwater Shell Mounds and by Asa R. Randall

By Asa R. Randall

“A subtle program of panorama proposal to a lately crafted archaeological list of the St. Johns River.”— Cheryl Claassen, writer of Feasting with Shellfish within the Southern Ohio Valley: Archaic Sacred websites and Rituals
“Changes the best way archaeologists conceptualize the dynamic relationships among hunter-gatherers and cultural landscapes in local North the USA. anyone drawn to hunter-gatherer societies, panorama archaeology, old monuments, anthropogenic environments, the archaeology and environmental historical past of Florida and the yank South, and the historical past of North American archaeology should still learn this book.”—Christopher B. Rodning, coeditor of Archaeological stories of Gender within the Southeastern United States
huge accumulations of historic shells on coastlines and riverbanks have been lengthy thought of the results of rubbish disposal in the course of repeated nutrients gatherings by way of early population of the southeastern usa. during this volume, Asa R. Randall provides the 1st new theoretical framework for reading such middens seeing that Ripley Bullen’s seminal paintings sixty years in the past. He convincingly posits that those historical “garbage dumps” have been truly burial mounds,  ceremonial accumulating locations, and infrequently habitation areas crucial to the histories and social geography of the hunter-gatherer societies who equipped them.

Synthesizing greater than one hundred fifty years of shell mound investigations and glossy distant sensing info, Randall rejects the long-standing ecological interpretation and redefines those websites as socially major monuments that exhibit formerly unknown complexities in regards to the hunter-gatherer societies of the Mount Taylor interval (ca. 7400–4600 cal. B.P.). tormented by weather swap and elevated scales of social interplay, the region’s population transformed the panorama in miraculous and significant methods. This pioneering quantity offers an alternative background from which emerge wealthy information about the day-by-day actions, ceremonies, and burial rituals of the archaic St. Johns River cultures. 

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Additional info for Constructing Histories: Archaic Freshwater Shell Mounds and Social Landscapes of the St. Johns River, Florida

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1935). Beginning in the 1950s, Ripley Bullen and 40 Constructing Histories others at the Florida Museum of Natural History (then the Florida State Museum) initiated more systematic investigations at intact sites (Bullen and Bryant 1965) and at others as they were being destroyed (Bullen 1955b; Jahn and Bullen 1978). , Gut and Neill 1953; Neill 1954). 1). From the beginning of concerted investigations in northern Florida, archaeologists recognized a pervasive non-association between ceramics and the basal deposits of shell mounds.

Burials lacking pottery presented a problem for Moore: they violated Wyman’s shell/sand dichotomy. Because the human remains at Thornhill Lake were largely unbroken, they could not be easily dismissed as evidence for cannibalism. More problematic, however, was that the lack of pottery in mounds violated his progressive evolutionary scheme. Most shell mounds lacked pottery except in their upper strata; they were demonstrably older, and by extension less evolved socially. ” Salvaging the Cultural Heritage of the St.

It was there that Wyman reflected upon the origins of shell mounds and their significance among their ancient creators. To understand how Wyman’s reflection was significant, a little background is useful. Wyman’s visit to the Mouth of Silver Glen Springs Run mound was part of one of many winter trips he made to the region between 1860, 1867, and 1871–1874 to study the shell mounds along the river (Randall 2015). These trips were organized in part to collect specimens for Harvard’s new museum (Wyman 1875: 15).

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