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A Multi-Site Analysis of Intergroup Violence in East Tennessee of 1300-1600 C.E.: Temporal and Regional Patterns

Author(s): Maria Smith

Year: 2017

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A meta-analysis of deliberate violent trauma (i.e., inflicted projectile points, antemortem blunt force cranial trauma, scalping, body element dismemberment and retrieval) in the human skeletal assemblages of twenty late prehistoric sites (N = 1300+ individuals) was undertaken to determine temporal (Dallas phase [1300-1540 C.E.], Mouse Creek phase [1400-1600 C.E.]) and/or regional patterns within the Ridge-and Valley physiographic province of East Tennessee. The site samples were retrieved from what are now six reservoirs that impound either the main channel of the upper Tennessee River (Chickamauga and Watts Bar Reservoirs) or its tributaries (the rivers of Clinch-Powell [Norris and Melton Hill Reservoirs], Little Tennessee [Tellico Reservoir], Hiwassee [Chickamauga Reservoir], and French Broad [Douglas Reservoir]). The results indicate distinct regional differences in pattern and prevalence of violent trauma that co-associate with population density. Additionally, lower East Tennessee, despite evidence of sociopolitical change (Dallas phase to Mouse Creek phase), has the highest prevalence of intergroup (i.e., lethal) and interpersonal (i.e., non-lethal) deliberate trauma. The inter-regional differences parallel previous archaeological assessment of mortuary patterning that identified ‘ethnic’ differences in east Tennessee and, are apparently coincident to the descriptions by the Hernando de Soto Entrada of 1540 for the (elusive) boundary of the Coosa polity.

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A Multi-Site Analysis of Intergroup Violence in East Tennessee of 1300-1600 C.E.: Temporal and Regional Patterns. Maria Smith. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431858)


Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 14989

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America