Movement and Interaction in the Appalachian Summit circa 1300–1500 CE

Author(s): Benjamin Steere; Ashley Schubert

Year: 2018


The Appalachian Summit is the southernmost and highest part of the Appalachian Mountain system, extending across western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee. Beginning in the early 1300s, evidence for Mississippian practices appear within Late Pisgah phase communities in the central portion of the Appalachian Summit. These settlements include small farmsteads, palisaded villages, and sites with platform mounds. In addition to the Pisgah culture, the late Mississippian Qualla phase (1450 -1838 CE) represents the only other Mississippian society in the Appalachian Summit. These communities are contemporaneous with Late Pisgah sites to the north, sharing similar house architecture and pottery attributes. However, Qualla sites are restricted to river valleys within the southwest while Pisgah pottery is found across a much larger area of the greater southern Appalachians. These two Mississippian complexes maintained a spatial separation within areas where both pottery types are found. With cycles of more or less integration of Mississippian groups, the period of 1300-1500 CE was a complex and dynamic period of interaction and growth in the Appalachian Summit. These demographic trends could be attributed to several factors, including environmental change, increased interaction with groups from neighboring regions, and increased competition for resources between neighboring communities.

Cite this Record

Movement and Interaction in the Appalachian Summit circa 1300–1500 CE. Benjamin Steere, Ashley Schubert. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 443907)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 21558