Formulating an Energetics Assessment of the Moundville Landscape

Author(s): Cameron Lacquement

Year: 2016


Platform mound building is a key indicator of sociopolitical complexity in the southeastern United States. In this presentation, the human energy employed in earthen monumental construction at the Moundville polity in west-central Alabama is quantified as a means of exploring the organizational variability of the control of surplus labor and material resources in an emerging complex society. To reconstruct the scale of sociopolitical differentiation invested in mound building, the energy necessary to excavate, transport, and compact mound and plaza soils is used in conjunction with data and techniques from other disciplines such as geotechnical engineering, human physiology, human biology, and ergonomics. This cross-disciplinary approach allows for the unit of measure in energetic studies of earthen mounds to be reformulated from person-hours to kilojoules.

Cite this Record

Formulating an Energetics Assessment of the Moundville Landscape. Cameron Lacquement. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 402915)

Spatial Coverage

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