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David Hurst Thomas and the Guale Problem: Rethinking Late Prehistoric Mobility along the Georgia Sea Islands

Author(s): Victor Thompson ; Anna Semon

Year: 2015

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In his research along the Georgia Coast, David Hurst Thomas identified the "Guale problem" as one of the key issues for late prehistoric research in the region. The problem centers on the relative degree of Guale mobility and subsistence during the pre- and postcontact eras. One view is that these were highly mobile, moving seasonally as they exhausted resources. Alternatively, others posit a more sedentary existence where the rich estuarine environment supplemented by maize agriculture supported large relatively stable year-round villages. Here, we provide a retrospective on the contributions that Thomas and colleagues have made in resolving issues related to Guale mobility. As a rejoinder, we explore contemporary research on the issue and provide commentary on what exactly we know and future avenues of inquiry regarding late prehistoric mobility and village life along the Georgia Coast.

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David Hurst Thomas and the Guale Problem: Rethinking Late Prehistoric Mobility along the Georgia Sea Islands. Anna Semon, Victor Thompson. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395558)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -91.274; min lat: 24.847 ; max long: -72.642; max lat: 36.386 ;

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America