Violence, Dislocation, and Social Transformation in the Chesapeake, AD 1300–1500

Author(s): Martin Gallivan

Year: 2018


Beyond the Mississippian frontier in Southwest Virginia, Algonquian and Siouan societies in the Chesapeake pursued their own culture histories, evidently independent of developments in the American Midcontinent and Southeast. And yet, between AD 1300 and 1500 a set of social changes cascaded from the Blue Ridge Mountains to the Chesapeake Bay which may correspond with developments highlighted in this symposium. How did the late precolonial collapse, social fragmentation, and violence of the broader Eastern Woodlands intersect with Chesapeake culture histories? This paper begins to assemble the evidence from which to explore this question. In the Ridge and Valley province, ceramic distributions point toward rapid population shifts while stoutly-fortified settlements began to appear with frequency by the fourteenth century. Piedmont and Coastal Plain communities also began to raise palisades at the same time that they adopted communal burial practices, ramped up maize production, and constructed ceremonial ditch enclosures at central places. Not all of these developments link directly to the collapse of Mississippian mound centers and resulting social dislocation, yet it is also clear that Native societies in the Chesapeake were entangled within historical processes which played out over multiple scales.

Cite this Record

Violence, Dislocation, and Social Transformation in the Chesapeake, AD 1300–1500. Martin Gallivan. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 443899)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -93.735; min lat: 24.847 ; max long: -73.389; max lat: 39.572 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 20117