A Multiscalar Analysis of Piedmont Village Tradition Settlement and Demography, 1200-1600 CE

Author(s): Eric Jones

Year: 2018


This research uses settlement area of Piedmont Village Tradition (PVT) sites from the four major river valleys in the North Carolina Piedmont to describe demographic trends on multiple scales during 1200-1600 CE. It uses surface survey results and artifact styles to establish sizes and dates. Spatial data and radiometric dates from excavated sites in each valley are used to refine these data. Given the limitations of using surface survey data for estimating demographic characteristics, this work aims to establish a initial model for population sizes and changes in the Piedmont on several scales that can be tested and improved upon in the future. Previous work suggests population growth occurred across the valleys from 800-1200 CE. Findings in this research suggest that populations in different valleys experienced different trajectories during the subsequent 400-year-period. Intra-valley migrations and eventual abandonment marked the Yadkin; population growth, settlement coalescence, and eventual abandonment in the Dan; and population stability and settlement coalescence in the Eno and Haw. Contextualizing PVT demography in the larger Southeast will help us understand how small-scale societies compared to neighboring chiefdoms, chieftaincies, and confederacies and what that means for the relationship between sociopolitical form and different demographic trends during this period.

Cite this Record

A Multiscalar Analysis of Piedmont Village Tradition Settlement and Demography, 1200-1600 CE. Eric Jones. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 443904)

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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): 20336