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North American Archaeolgy- Mississippian Period - Essay Example

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North American Archaeolgy- Mississippian Period

During this time, cities arose where certain communities were allowed to pursue religion and arts in order to create religious and artistic elites. This paper thus analyzes this ancient North American society by looking at various articles written by scholars regarding the Mississippian Period and people. According to Caba (12), Cahokia, the most complex and largest of the Mississippian sites, may have actually functioned as a prehistoric metropolis. A notable discovery that she uses to conceptualize this statement is the Exchange Avenue figurine that has remained intact for a thousand years underground. It depicts a kneeling woman with lips that are slightly parted, eyes that are almond-shaped, and holding a shell vessel. The structure where this figurine was excavated is part of a residential district that archeologists claim is related a ceremonial district more than a kilometer away. This information, in addition to a variety of Cahokia mounds, foundation trenches, more than a hundred test pits, and a collection of Mississippian points discovered in East St. Louis represent an urban region with a dense population (Emerson, 92). Caba (14) further suggests that in general, Cahokia city produced nearly all elaborate and well-executed artifacts of ancient North America. Cooper (9) then states that in 1541, Mississippians lived in Arkansas. Here, they lived along the Mississippi river where they farmed on the fertile levee soil. Similarly, Cahokia was also another settlement on the river

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levee. Artifacts from the city indicate that the place developed to a city due to trade. They depict a vast trading center where goods came from as far as Brazil. They also show that this food was to support the construction workers building the many structures, especially mounds. Consequently, these structures consisted of sweat lodges, temples and many other public buildings that housed the traders. This then led to generation of a type of momentum where the Mississippians acquired the ability to develop complex societies and cities gradually. Caba (2) terms this theory the maximalists’ theory. She then talks of other Mississippian experts who, in referring to Cahokia, substitute the words “urban’ or ‘city’ with worlds like ’mound center. These are the minimalists. The Mississippians then altered the hilly landscape remade it flat so that it was more suitable for construction and habitation. As if not all, they then built a separate upper class area by building mounds around plazas. Those who lived on the mounds were the elite while the lower class society was used mainly for human sacrifices. Dietary analyses also show that the upper class people fed mainly on fish and dear while the lower class fed on a much more carbohydrate diet. However, according to Braly (34), the Mississippian era was cut short when the Europeans conquered North America. Their expedition, called Hernando de Soto, came with the disease that devastated the population. Furthermore, they disrupted the social order in the society with the military wars they won against the various Mississippian chiefdoms. Consequently, weather factors were the ultimate cause of the decline of the Mississippian Era. The rise in global warming brought deforestation and drought to North America leading to migration from the area form the year 1300 to beyond 1450 AD. Consequently, archaeologists have also found evidence showing that the East

Summary

Name Instructor Course Date North American Archaeolgy- Mississippian Period The Mississippian Era developed from AD 900 to around AD 1600. It is regarded as a broad category that archaeologists have used to divide the Midwest and Southeast past of the Indian American people…
Author : cooper82
North American Archaeolgy- Mississippian Period essay example
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