The Wheel of Conflict: Physical and Spiritual Permanence of Mississippian Violence

Author(s): David Dye; Keith Jacobi; William DeVore

Year: 2017


Violence in the daily lives of individuals in late prehistoric eastern North America took many forms. Exposure to violence was pervasive and persistent. From the time you were born until the time you died you were a witness, a participant, and possibly a victim. In some instances death was a not release. In the Tennessee Valley of northern Alabama two Mississippian sites, Kogers Island (1LU92) and Perry (1LU25), demonstrate a range of evidence for interpolity violence. Familiar examples of violent encounters observed include: facial mutilations, decapitations, general dismemberments and mutilations, scalpings, and healed and unhealed blunt force trauma to the skull. Human remains were displayed and curated as one aspect of cultural identity and history. In addition, new protocols for violence are coming to light that are rewriting our understanding of past violent behavior. Partitioning skeletal remains and the closely tied practices of transformative proxies speak to the interwoven nature of the physical and spiritual realms that permeated the daily lives of Mississippian people, alluding to more abstract experiences and practices than we have previously given credit.

Cite this Record

The Wheel of Conflict: Physical and Spiritual Permanence of Mississippian Violence. David Dye, Keith Jacobi, William DeVore. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431860)


Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 17200