Life in a Mississippian Warscape; Violence and Materiality at the Common Field Site

Author(s): Meghan Buchanan

Year: 2016


Analyses and interpretations of Mississippian Period warfare have typically been couched in evolutionary theoretical frameworks that down play, dismiss, or ignore the impacts of endemic violence on the lived experiences of past peoples. Carolyn Nordstrom (1997) advocates the telling of "a different kind of war story," one that focuses on human experiences, tragedies, and creativity during periods of political and social upheaval and violence. In this presentation, I discuss a framework for studying the intersections of violence and practice in archaeological warscapes enacted in micro-scale actions (histories or genealogies of practices) and macro-scale regional histories. In the 13th century AD, as palisade construction increased throughout the Midwest and violent encounters occurred at numerous sites, the Mississippian Period Common Field site in southeast Missouri was destroyed in a catastrophic conflagration. Drawing on ceramic data from Common Field, I argue that inhabitants of the site engaged in processes of hybridity related to their changing social, environmental and cosmological interactions during this period of escalating violence in the decades prior to the destruction of the site.

Cite this Record

Life in a Mississippian Warscape; Violence and Materiality at the Common Field Site. Meghan Buchanan. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 404668)

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Spatial Coverage

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