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The Archaeology of Villages in Eastern North America$
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Jennifer Birch and Victor D. Thompson

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781683400462

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9781683400462.001.0001

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The Power of Villages

The Power of Villages

(p.1) 1 The Power of Villages
The Archaeology of Villages in Eastern North America

Victor D. Thompson

Jennifer Birch

University Press of Florida

While the settings for village formation in eastern North America differ widely, the cultural materials that peoples used to craft village communities and the social processes that played out within them were not so different. The power of villages to create new societal forms developed through processes of emplacement, negotiation, cooperation, and competition at multiple social and spatial scales. As such, the way individuals and groups expressed power operated under different societal constraints than under other kinds of social formations. In this chapter, we consider the several key themes that are important to understanding village coalescence and operation, including social relations, cooperation, power dynamics, kinship, hierarchy, and the rise of large and powerful villages, among others. While we have centered this discussion on eastern North America, we have also situated this regional analysis in a global context in order to illustrate how our understanding of village societies in the area contributes to a broader understanding of world archaeology.

Keywords:   eastern North America, coalescence, hierarchy, cooperation, regional analysis, kinship

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