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Resilience, Hierarchy, and the Native American Cultural Landscapes of the Yazoo Basin and the Mississippi Delta

Author(s): Christopher Rodning ; Jayur Mehta

Year: 2016

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Summary

Within the field of ecology, resilience is the capacity of an ecosystem to withstand change and to regenerate itself after disturbance. Adapted to the archaeological study of past cultural systems, the concept of resilience refers to the capacity of a cultural system or a cultural landscape to endure change. Archaeologists have primarily recognized resiliency in cultural systems of regions characterized by arid conditions, either permanently or periodically. This paper considers prehistoric Native American settlement patterns and monumentality in the Yazoo Basin of Mississippi and the Mississippi River Delta of southeastern Louisiana, where cultural practices and landscapes have been shaped largely by water, rather than aridity. Water has impacted the Yazoo Basin and the Mississippi Delta in different ways, and those effects had different outcomes on the arrangements of monuments, settlements, and people within Native American landscapes during prehistory. Our treatment of these topics and these study areas is guided by Carole Crumley's concepts of historical ecology and landscape history, and we also follow Professor Crumley's approach to studying past landscapes in drawing upon relevant paleoenvironmental, archaeological, and ethnohistoric evidence.


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Resilience, Hierarchy, and the Native American Cultural Landscapes of the Yazoo Basin and the Mississippi Delta. Christopher Rodning, Jayur Mehta. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 403719)


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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