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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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PRINTED FROM FLORIDA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.florida.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Florida, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FLASO for personal use.date: 05 August 2021

Size Matters

Size Matters

Kolomoki (9ER1) and the Power of the Hypertrophic Village

(p.54) 4 Size Matters
The Archaeology of Villages in Eastern North America

Shaun E. West

Thomas J. Pluckhahn

Martin Menz

University Press of Florida

Kolomoki was one of the largest villages of the Middle and Late Woodland periods in the American Southeast. Located in southwestern Georgia, the site features a circular village plan nearly a kilometer in diameter which is centered on a large open plaza. This chapter introduces the term “hypertrophic village” to describe Kolomoki and, by extension, villages of similarly exaggerated size. New insights from recent excavations covering Kolomoki's transition from Swift Creek to Weeden Island pottery suggest that Kolomoki grew from a relatively compact to hypertrophic village beginning around the sixth century A.D. and culminating a century or two later. The wide spacing between domestic units both enabled and constrained social cohesion, and may have afforded the community at Kolomoki unrivalled symbolic power. The construction of Kolomoki's hypertrophic village may have been a strategy related to settlement shifts that recent work suggests took place throughout the region in the seventh century A.D.

Keywords:   hypertrophic, Kolomoki, American Southeast, Swift Creek, Weeden Island, Woodland Period

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