Ancestral Chickasaw Migration and the Makings of the Anthropocene in Southeastern North America
We describe recent investigations of Indigenous communities who vacated the Tombigbee drainage of eastern Mississippi in the mid-fifteenth century A.D. These and surrounding groups migrated into nearby uplands known as the Blackland Prairie. Populations continued to move northward within the prairie and coalesced around what is today Tupelo, MS, in the 1600s. The move from a riverine to upland setting involved a dramatic shift in practices of historical ecology. The rich soils and open terrain of the prairie system at the time of European contact were likely a result of repeated burning and other modifications by ancestral Chickasaw, leading to an early description of the countryside as "pleasant open forests of oak chesnuts and hickory so intermixt with savannas as if it were a made landskape." Our work describes how the historical ecology of migration was an outgrowth of climate change, regional social tensions, and the later arrival of Europeans.
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Ancestral Chickasaw Migration and the Makings of the Anthropocene in Southeastern North America. Charles Cobb, Brad Lieb, Tony Boudreaux. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 444811)
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min long: -93.735; min lat: 24.847 ; max long: -73.389; max lat: 39.572 ;
Abstract Id(s): 20008