Archaeology of Northern Florida, A.D. 200-900
The McKeithen Weeden Island CultureeBook - 1997
"Readable, informative, and simply indispensable to anyone with a serious interest in Eastern North America’s prehistory."—American Antiquity
"Will be the fundamental reference on the archeology of the north Florida area [and] the Woodland period. . . . Provides a fascinating and informative picture of how modern archaeological studies are performed and how the ideas of researchers can evolve in the face of new data. I highly recommend it."--John F. Scarry, Florida Historical Quarterly
More than a millennium ago, the Weeden Island culture flourished across the northern half of Florida and adjacent portions of the Alabama and Georgia coastal plain. For more than a century, archaeologists have marveled over the extraordinary animal effigy pottery vessels left behind by these pre-Columbian peoples in their mounds and villages.
In this volume the authors draw on north Florida archaeological excavations and site surveys to unlock the secrets of the Weeden Island culture and its magnificent ceramics. In particular, investigations at the McKeithen site, a multi-mound village site, provide information used to place the culture within the evolutionary framework of native societies in the southeastern United States. New radiocarbon dates from that site establish a firm chronological framework for Weeden Island developments.
The authors examine the role of mound-building vis-à-vis social and village organization and provide definitive assessments about the crafting of Weeden Island ceramics and the ritual and social significance of animal effigy figurines and other pottery. From a wealth of past and present field investigations and from modern laboratory analyses, conclusions are offered about Weeden Island lifeways, social structure, and sociopolitical stability.
Archaeology of Northern Florida provides a much-needed and valuable synthesis of the Weeden Island culture, one that fundamentally alters how we view the pre-Columbian Southeast. It will be of interest to professional archaeologists, students, and that large segment of the general public that enjoys learning about the past around us.
The authors, with more than a half-century of professional experience among them, have carried out archaeological investigations across the United States. Jerald T. Milanich is author of Archaeology of Precolumbian Florida (UPF, 1994) and Florida Indians and the Invasion from Europe (UPF, 1995).