Essential overview of American Indian societies during the Archaic period across central North America.
Sweeping and detailed, this long-awaited volume is an indispensable guide to the Archaic period across the midcontinent. Archaeologists throughout the region share the latest excavation results and analytical perspectives to reveal and reinterpret the worlds of those Native peoples who lived there for some 9,000 years (up to about 3,000 years ago). Of particular concern is the establishment of relative and absolute chronologies for the Archaic period, the relationships between the artifacts left behind and the peoples who made and used them, and the changing interactions between cultures, climate, and landscape. Archaeologists offer useful, up-to-date overviews of Archaic societies, assessment of stratigraphic sequences, and detailed discussions of finds and interpretations from the Mississippi and Ohio river regions and the Great Lakes. Comprehensive and accessible, this landmark book is a must for anyone wanting to understand a crucial but little-understood period in North America's prehistory.
Thomas E. Emerson is Director of the Illinois Transportation Archaeological Research Program (ITARP), a joint program of the University of Illinois and the Illinois Department of Transportation. At ITARP, Dale L. McElrath is Senior Cultural Resource Archaeologist and Statewide Survey Coordinator, and Andrew C. Fortier is Special Projects Coordinator. Archaic Societies is a companion volume to their Late Woodland Societies: Tradition and Transformation across the Midcontinent.
"…Archaic Societies represents a substantive resource for professional archaeologists, and a comprehensive summary of a time and place that profoundly influenced North American history … it is particularly valuable because it draws together considerable information that might otherwise reside in unpublished or obscurely published reports…" — Canadian Journal of Native Studies
"This book will be the standard reference for this topic for decades to come." — American Anthropologist
"This piece of scholarship is truly monumental … As someone who is interested in this time period and hunter-gatherers, I heartily recommend professional archaeologists purchase a copy. It is a volume that will be referenced and consulted for years to come … [E]ven if you are not an archaeologist, reading this work will give you a good sense of the tremendous amount of diversity and innovation during this period." — Victor D. Thompson, American Indian Culture and Research Journal
"…an indispensable source for all students of the Archaic." — Journal of Middle Atlantic Archaeology
"…a tome rich in detail/minutiae and broad in scope … a welcome addition to any archaeologist's library." — Northwest Ohio History