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