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Practical and social storage among the Ohio Hopewell: Archaeobotanical and ethnoarchaeological evidence for delayed return of pre-maize crops

Author(s): Andrew Weiland

Year: 2015

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Summary

Social storage and social complexity indicated in the scale of Hopewell earthwork building, craft specialization, and mortuary goods suggest surplus created though subsistence intensification. However, artifacts and features associated with practical storage of such a surplus are uncommon at most Ohio Hopewell habitation sites. This study takes a step toward resolving this apparent contradiction by developing a predictive model from descriptive and quantitative characteristics of storage facilities archaeologically and ethnographically documented in eastern North America. These predictions are then compared with a newly analyzed botanical assemblage from features at a Hopewell habitation site (Overly Tract near Hopeton earthworks). Results indicate that traces of storage features may remain as palimpsests that require detailed analysis, and feature morphology may not always be a reliable indicator of storage function. Comparison of features suggests a dichotomy in Hopewell culture between social storage at earthworks and immediate surrounds, and practical storage at habitation sites. Organization of various forms of storage in Hopewell societies provides insight to land management, settlement patterns, and social organization at large.

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Practical and social storage among the Ohio Hopewell: Archaeobotanical and ethnoarchaeological evidence for delayed return of pre-maize crops. Andrew Weiland. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 397428)


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Spatial Coverage

min long: -104.634; min lat: 36.739 ; max long: -80.64; max lat: 49.153 ;

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