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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

The Path to the Council House

The Path to the Council House

The Development of Mississippian Communities in Southeast Tennessee

(p.106) 7 The Path to the Council House
The Archaeology of Villages in Eastern North America

Lynne P. Sullivan

University Press of Florida

This chapter discusses the transition from Early to Late Mississippian in southeast Tennessee, a time period that encompassed many cultural changes, including shifts from dispersed to nucleated communities. More people moved into mound centers, the use of communal burial mounds ceased in favor of household and public space interments, palisades were added to some settlements, and new types of pottery, architecture, and symbolism came into use. Concomitant with these changes were new forms of community leadership overlaid upon an older base of kinship groupings. Gender duality, with men acting in community leadership roles in councils and women serving as kin group leaders, likely developed as a strategy for social and political cohesion related to a need to integrate refugees from drought-stricken regions to the west. This gendered division of leadership for village governance would have helped to manage and ease inevitable tensions and conflict during coalescence.

Keywords:   Southeast Tennessee, Mississippian, village governance, drought, coalescence, gender duality

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