Mississippian Communities and Households from a Bird’s-Eye View

Author(s): Benjamin Steere

Year: 2016


In the twenty years since the publication of Mississippian Communities and Households, improvements in GIS and database software have enabled archaeologists to analyze and compare the material remains of past communities and households at spatial scales that were once infeasible. In this paper I use a database of over 1200 Native American structures from 65 sites across the Southeast to compare changes in the architecture of Mississippian houses and settlements at a broader temporal and spatial scale than might have been possible in the mid-1990s. This bird’s-eye view provides useful insights about the relationship between changes in architecture and changes in communities. Using a theoretical framework developed from classic studies in household archaeology and anthropology, I argue that certain aspects of architectural variation in Mississippian communities made visible at a broad spatial scale can be explained by changes in household economics and household composition, symbolic behavior, status differentiation, and settlement patterning.

Cite this Record

Mississippian Communities and Households from a Bird’s-Eye View. Benjamin Steere. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 403405)


Spatial Coverage

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