Settlement Scaling in the Eastern Woodlands of the United States, ca. 3500 BC to AD 1700: Size, Monumentality, and Public Space
Author(s): Stefan Brannan
The concept of settlement scaling is increasingly being utilized in archaeology to empirically evaluate mathematical properties of urban and non-urban settlements. However, principles based on settlement scaling theory have yet to be tested in the Eastern Woodlands of the United States despite the existence of a robust sample of settlements, including those containing monumental architecture. As part of a broad regional study, I collected spatial data on settlement size, monuments, and public spaces at 70 sites located in the Eastern Woodlands occupied between 3500 BC and AD 1700. In general, sites exceeding 20 hectares exhibit distinct characteristics related to monumental architecture and public space when compared to smaller examples. A central question is whether these larger settlements possess fundamentally different scaling relations or if the former merely represent scaled-up versions of the latter. This paper explores the relationship between those attributes to determine quantitative patterns and qualitative differences between small and large settlement patterns. The results are used to develop a generalized theory of settlement scaling in the Eastern Woodlands which is then employed to explain the patterns of aggregation and dispersal in the lower Chattahoochee River valley of the United States, ca. AD 1100-1500.
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Settlement Scaling in the Eastern Woodlands of the United States, ca. 3500 BC to AD 1700: Size, Monumentality, and Public Space. Stefan Brannan. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 443079)
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min long: -168.574; min lat: 7.014 ; max long: -54.844; max lat: 74.683 ;
Abstract Id(s): 22540