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The Early Woodland period is an elaboration of Archaic trends. A greatly increased use of earthen burial mounds and pottery making make Early Woodland.

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Presentation on theme: "The Early Woodland period is an elaboration of Archaic trends. A greatly increased use of earthen burial mounds and pottery making make Early Woodland."— Presentation transcript:


2 The Early Woodland period is an elaboration of Archaic trends. A greatly increased use of earthen burial mounds and pottery making make Early Woodland sites more visible to the archaeologist than most Archaic sites.

3 More intensive exploitation of diverse food sources in highly localized environments (part of'primary forest efficiency'). More sedentary living, with more clearly recognizable territorial boundaries. More intensive exchange of scarce materials. More complex social orders. Increasing cultivation of native and foreign plants. Larger populations living in more geographically and socially circumscribed territories.

4 The widespread appearance of pottery is thought to be related to a "container revolution"associated with an increased exploitation of wild and domesticated seed crops. Many native and foreign plants were cultivated by the Early Woodland period (with some appearing in the Middle Archaic period).


6 Indigenous cultigens include sunflower, Jerusalem artichoke, sumpweed, goosefoot, knotweed, maygrass, and little barley. Cultivated plants remained a supplementary food in the Eastern Woodlands until after AD 800.

7 Used flint blades, drills, scrapers, stone axes and adzes, bone tools, atlatl weights, projectile points. Yadkin points

8 Waubesa Dickson Kramer

9 Two Early Woodland characteristics that separate it from the Archaic are an elaboration of archaeologically visible burial customs and an intensification of local and inter-regional exchange. Burial of high status in earthen mounds. High status trade goods.


11 Widespread trading contacts Ohio pipestone from the lower Scioto Valley to Lake Huron and the upper St Lawrence Valley Copper from Lake Superior Sea shells from the Gulf Coast Intensified local and inter-regional trade

12 Probably clans and lineages controlled the resources. Social standing was extremely important, especially for burial. Population size and growth villages held as many as 40 people had very localized population density Settlement pattern Early Woodland settlement distribution resembles the Late Archaic communities Adena lived by basically every major Ohio River tributary

13 Religious beliefs and rituals Burial mounds death was extremely symbolic contained tools, exotic ornaments, bracelets, rings Adena painted corpses (red ochre)

14 Population growth led to better defined and more circumscribed local territories. Stylistic boundary markers" (e.g., projectile point and pottery styles), More formal exchange mechanisms that structured the bartering of essentials and prestigious luxuries from one area to another in a web of reciprocal obligations and formal gift giving.


16 The Adena complex was a mortuary- ceremonial complex centered in the central Ohio Valley that was shared by many local cultures. Earlier Adena burial centers are marked by a basically egalitarian burial program, utilitarian grave goods, and smaller earthen burial mounds.

17 Construction of the mound took place in successive stages from about 250-150 B.C., as indicated by the multiple burials at different levels within the structures. In 1838, road engineers measured its height at 69 feet and its at the base as 295 feet. Originally a moat of about 40 feet in width and five feet in depth with one causeway encircled it.


19 Archaeological investigations of the surrounding area suggest that it was constructed ca. 800 BC - AD 100. Built on a 100-foot-high bluff, the mound measures 877 feet in circumference. It was originally more than 70 feet high.


21 Shrum Mound is one of the last remaining conical burial mounds in the city of Columbus. The 20-foot-high and 100-foot-diameter mound is located in the one-acre Campbell roadside park. The mound is grass-covered and steps lead to its summit. It was probably constructed about 2000 years ago by the prehistoric Adena people.


23 Story Mound consists of a large, rounded earthen mound located on slightly less than an acre of ground in Chillicothe. This mound stands 19.5 feet high, with a basal diameter of 95 feet. Dating to ca. 800 BC-AD 100 it was excavated in 1897 by Clarence Loveberry. It yielded the first documented example of a circular Adena timber building, a structural type now known as the norm in Adena ceremonial and domestic architecture.



26 800 B.C. - A.D. 100 This carved pipe was found in the Adena mound in Chillicothe. It shows us an Adena man wearing typical clothing and jewelry.




30 Traits Artifacts Sites

31 The middle period or stage of the Woodland tradition in eastern North America. Many trends that began thousands of years earlier in the Archaic reach their climax in the Middle Woodland in some resource rich regions.

32 an increasing efficiency in harvesting a wide variety of productive and nutritious wild food resources; an increasing emphasis on the gathering and gardening of seed-bearing plants; an intensification of food procurement; smaller, better defined, and more circumscribed group territories; more sedentary lifeways;

33 "packing" in resource rich environments caused by increasing population sizes, group fissioning, and inward migration; a sense of corporate, or "ethnic," identity; increasingly conspicuous group boundary markers to legitimize a corporate right to local resources; more elaborate burial rites; more complex intra- and intercommunity social arrangements; and increasingly formal inter-group exchange mechanisms.

34 Hopewell ceremonial sites are in the Sciota Valley near Chillicothe, Ohio. These religious and political centers typically contain a burial mound and geometric earthwork complex that covers 10 to hundreds of acres and sparse; evidence of large resident populations is lacking. Larger mounds can be up to 12 m high, 150 m long, and 55 m wide. Multiple mortuary structures under the mounds were often log tombs that contained the remains of skeletons that had been cremated, bundled, or interred in some other manner.

35 Exotic raw materials and "art" objects, the diagnostic artifacts of the Hopewell Interaction Sphere, accompanied some of the burials. Included were: Lake Superior copper, galena, obsidian from Wyoming, Knife River flint from North Dakota, And also pipestone, silver, meteoric iron, mica, chlorite, quartz crystal, petrified wood, foreign nodular flints, From the gulf and atlantic coasts: large and small marine shell, ocean turtle shells, alligator and shark teeth, barracuda jaws clay figurines, platform effigy pipes, and two-dimensional representational art cut from sheets of copper or mica, among other items.


37 Sources Lake Superior area Kewanaw Peninsula Isle Royale Essential two ways of making cold copper objects: Beaten Cutouts

38 Ear spools Artificial noses Beads Gorgets Panpipes Relief drawings Breastplates Fake deer antlers Coverings for wooden artifacts (e.g., covering for a wooden representation of a hallucinogenic or poisonous mushroomthe famous "Shaman's baton") Ax heads


40 Source: southwest North Carolina Mica is a sometimes almost perfectly transparent laminated mineral that can be carefully separated into clear sheets that can then be cut into shapes: Serpents Animal claws Human heads Human hands Geometric forms As many as 3,000 sheets of worked mica have been recovered from one mound (at the original Hopewell Site)


42 Source: appears to be Yellowstone, Wyoming Technology employed: developed pressure flaking Artifact types: Knives Projectile points Ritual, non-utilitarian forms of the above (too big and too brittle to have been used practically) Ground-stone artifacts: Probably the most famous Hopewell artifact is the platform pipe Platform pipes depict a wide range of animals forming the tobacco bowloften in rather whimsical forms

43 Ground Stone Shaman

44 Bone artifacts: Wolf's upper palette with upper fangs still intact (may have been a mouth mask that was held in the teeth of a shaman) Wooden artifacts: Preservation of wood is often poor in the Eastern Woodlands, but luckily some of these had been covered with thin sheets of copper Copper acids inhibit biological activity, thus sometimes preserving organic material adjacent to it Copper sometimes remains long after wood has disappeared (requiring careful excavation techniques!)


46 Freshwater mollusks: Freshwater clamshell to make beads Freshwater pearl for beads, etc. Ceramics: Vessels: Utilitarian Luxury/funerary Figurines: Distinct from those of the Southwest and Mesoamerica

47 Smaller amounts of Hopewell Interaction Sphere items are found in Havana graves in Illinois and in other Hopewellian complexes. Differences in regional burial practices, ceramics, settlement pattern, and other aspects of the archaeological record suggest that these items and presumably their associated ritual practices were grafted onto local cultures.

48 Just what the Hopewell phenomenon represents remains a focus of investigation. Some researchers view the increase in burial mound and earthwork construction, the elaboration of burial ceremonialism, and the presence of "powerful" exotic substances and manufactured items as the archaeologically visible manifestation of a climactic expression of a cosmology whose roots extend deep into the Archaic. According to this view, the spirit world had to be propitiated to ensure an abundance of food, a successful raid on a traditional enemy, and so on, and these items functioned within that process of communication.

49 Others regard the florescence as evidence of the emergence of regional social ranking. In this view, heads of high ranking lineages legitimized their positions in part by obtaining interaction sphere symbols of power from other high ranking lineage heads in distant communities. Still another interpretation considers the aspirations of "Big Men" as responsible for moving interaction sphere items through an extensive intertribal network. Here, a potential "Big Man" would attempt to build his own reputation and a political blee within the segmented tribal organization by exchanging locally available items for interaction sphere raw materials and ritual items. Presumably, aspects of all three interpretations were important to varying degrees in different Middle Woodland complexes.

50 Enclosures: Circular Rectangular Octagonal Processionals: Parallel connecting mounds connecting enclosures Internal moats and borrow pits were also part of such complexes Effigy Mounds: Not to be confused with the Effigy Mound Culture of Northeastern Iowa, which is late, but which also has Hopewellian affiliations

51 Many mounds were burial mounds (sometimes containing hundreds of burials) Some mound complexes may reflect archaeoastronomic orientations Definitely not used as temple bases (such as later Mississippian and Mesoamerican forms)







58 The dead were buried in many different ways, depending upon social status. The majority of the scientifically studied burials are cremations, only the elites being buried intact. Both burial crypts and charnel houses were used. Crypts Large boxes constructed for the storage of the dead and their grave goods Simple structures sunk into the ground and covered with heavy roofs Often built on isolated high-spots clear of the settlement May have served as lineage and/or clan facilities for a single community Generally maintenance free

59 Structures with thatched roofs and substantial post frames - used both to shelter the dead (cremated and /or entire corpses) and the burial activities associated with them Bodies often subjected to considerable preparation Elites buried in log-lined tombs within the charnel house [and were accompanied by extremely rich grave offerings] Once house had fulfilled its role, was burned to the ground and an earthen mound erected over it A single mound might be used for later burials which were placed immediately adjacent to, or partially into, the exisiting burial mound. Over time a single burial mound would assume gigantic proportions [some as large as 90-100 feet in diameter and 15 feet tall] and contain as many as 200+ burials. May have served as lineage and /or clan facilities for a single community.

60 Serpent Mound, Ohio One of the few effigy mounds in Ohio, Serpent Mound is the largest and finest serpent effigy in the United States. Nearly a quarter of a mile long, Serpent Mound apparently represents an uncoiling serpent. Serpent Mound lies on a plateau overlooking the valley of Brush Creek. New dating suggests it was built at the end of the Hopewell period.

61 The most famous of all such (effigy) mounds is the Great Serpent Mound in Adams County, 1,330 feet in length along its coils and averaging three feet in height.

62 http://www.comp- orks.htm http://www.comp- orks.htm aeol/p_indian/artifact/face.shtml aeol/p_indian/artifact/face.shtml hron/NorthAmerica/Adena.html hron/NorthAmerica/Adena.html 54601/EarlyWoodlandandAdena.html 54601/EarlyWoodlandandAdena.html aeol/p_indian/tradit/adena.shtml aeol/p_indian/tradit/adena.shtml

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