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Bones of ComplexityBioarchaeological Case Studies of Social Organization and Skeletal Biology$
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Haagen D. Klaus, Amanda R. Harvey, and Mark N. Cohen

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780813062235

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813062235.001.0001

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Hopewell Hierarchy or Heterarchy?

Hopewell Hierarchy or Heterarchy?

The Skeleton at the Feast

Chapter:
(p.290) 11 Hopewell Hierarchy or Heterarchy?
Source:
Bones of Complexity
Author(s):

Della Collins Cook

Ruth A. Brinker

Robin Moser Knabel

Ellen Salter-Pedersen

Publisher:
University Press of Florida
DOI:10.5744/florida/9780813062235.003.0011

Chapter 11, part retrospective and part meta-analysis, takes a critical look at the bioarchaeological evidence of Hopewell social organization spanning much of Eastern North America from 200 B.C. to A.D. 500. Past archaeological work considered Hopewell as generally heterarchical and egalitarian. This synthesis of funerary pattern variation and a host of biological data discern patterns consistent with embodied social inequalities, with evidence of better health and diet associated with those of inferred high status. While acknowledging the substantial heterarchical dimensions of Hopewell social organization, Cook et al. suggest that the pendulum has swung too far from hierarchical models and any archaeological conception of the Hopewell tradition must engage the evidence of hierarchy visible in the remains of its people.

Keywords:   North America, social organization, Hopewell

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