Palisaded Enclosures and Political Complexity in the Eastern Woodlands of North America
Earthworks and enclosures have a long history of construction and use in the eastern Woodlands of North America. However, the development of palisaded enclosures around permanent settlements occurs concomitantly with the transition to maize horticulture, the transition to settled village life, and an increasing concern with boundary maintenance. In this paper, we employ data from Northeastern and Southeastern North America to examine how processes of enclosure transformed the relationships between people living within walled communities and those in the outside world. We argue that enclosed settlements developed initially as defensive communities. Subsequently, these groups developed more complex forms of social, political, and economic organization to meet the challenges of living together in circumscribed groups. These organizational structures differed in the Northeast and Southeast. Dynamic processes including climatic change, aggregation and dispersal, migration, alliance formation, and the emergence of regional polities and confederacies shaped the historically contingent biographies of enclosed places.
SAA 2015 abstracts made available in tDAR courtesy of the Society for American Archaeology and Center for Digital Antiquity Collaborative Program to improve digital data in archaeology. If you are the author of this presentation you may upload your paper, poster, presentation, or associated data (up to 3 files/30MB) for free. Please visit http://www.tdar.org/SAA2015 for instructions and more information.
This Resource is Part of the Following Collections
- Society for American Archaeology 80th Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA (2015) •
- Biographies of Enclosure in Global Context
Cite this Record
Palisaded Enclosures and Political Complexity in the Eastern Woodlands of North America. Stefan Brannan, Jennifer Birch. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395936)
min long: -91.274; min lat: 24.847 ; max long: -72.642; max lat: 36.386 ;