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Ceramics of Ancient AmericaMultidisciplinary Approaches$
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Yumi Park Huntington, Dean E. Arnold, and Johanna Minich

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780813056067

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813056067.001.0001

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The Importance of Symmetry in Defining Caddo Relationships

The Importance of Symmetry in Defining Caddo Relationships

A Synthesis of Perspectives

(p.249) 9 The Importance of Symmetry in Defining Caddo Relationships
Ceramics of Ancient America

Johanna Minich

Jeff Price

University Press of Florida

Minich and Price offer insights into the way the Caddo participated in the Mississippian Culture sphere using both semiotics and symmetry analysis of surface designs on 150 ceramic vessels from three sites in the Ouachita and Red River valleys. Symmetry in surface designs persisted over 900 years of occupation in the Southern Caddo area, but the variety and distribution of dominant symmetry types changed over time and space, suggesting a local preference for, and symbolic association with, particular symmetry types. Variety in symmetry types increases through time and correlates with both changes in sociopolitical organization within individual Caddo communities and changes related to larger regional influences. While differences in design structure choice may reflect individual community identity, the overall continuity in form, style, and technique are factors that made Caddo ceramics symbolic of the cohesive nature of the Mississippian cultural tradition as a whole.

Keywords:   Caddo, Mississippian Culture, ceramics, symmetry analysis, semiotics, Ouachita, Red River

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