Economic Intensification and Social Differentiation: A View from the Late Woodland Southeast

Author(s): C. Trevor Duke; Martin Menz

Year: 2017


Intensification has long been equated with the rise of tightly-controlled economies, often in association with incipient social inequality. Previous research has sometimes suggested that centralized control is necessary both for the development of intensification as a viable economic strategy, and for the management of its repercussions. Here, we present evidence from Kolomoki, Crystal River, and Roberts Island, three prominent Late Woodland (ca. A.D. 500-1000) mound centers of the American Southeast, to demonstrate that economic intensification existed on a broad scale, and grew out of the social practices of communities lacking apparent social hierarchy. Specifically, we evaluate these phenomena by comparing trends between inland domestic economies and coastal subsistence economies. Our evidence suggests that different social groups within some Late Woodland communities were associated with intensification of particular resources. In our view, these trends highlight striking similarities in the development of economic and social differentiation during this period across a broad swathe of the Southeast.

Cite this Record

Economic Intensification and Social Differentiation: A View from the Late Woodland Southeast. C. Trevor Duke, Martin Menz. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429520)

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Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16527