South Appalachian Mississippian in the Appalachian Summit: The Pisgah and Qualla Phases in Western North Carolina
Archaeologists have generally characterized the Pisgah phase in western North Carolina as the manifestation of Mississippian culture in the Appalachian Summit province, dating from A.D. 1000 to 1450, and the precursor to the Qualla phase, which dates from the 1400s through 1800s and is associated with historic Cherokee towns. The Appalachian Summit encompasses rugged topography, sprawling mountain ranges, and some of the tallest peaks east of the Mississippi River, and it is an area with some of the highest amounts of annual precipitation in eastern North America. This paper summarizes the chronology and characteristics of the Pisgah phase in the Appalachian Summit, its relationships to the Qualla and Burke phases in western North Carolina, and environmental conditions and climatic changes that shaped the development of the South Appalachian Mississippian cultural landscape. The people associated with Pisgah sites did contribute to the development of historic Cherokee culture in the Appalachian Summit, but so also did groups from areas in northeastern Georgia and northwestern South Carolina, and the Pisgah phase is also important in understanding Native American cultural diversity in the Appalachian Summit, the upper Catawba River Valley, and northeastern Tennessee at the point of early European contact in the sixteenth century.
Cite this Record
South Appalachian Mississippian in the Appalachian Summit: The Pisgah and Qualla Phases in Western North Carolina. Christopher Rodning, David Moore. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430753)
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min long: -91.274; min lat: 24.847 ; max long: -72.642; max lat: 36.386 ;
Abstract Id(s): 15875