Stephen Williams and The Vacant Quarter Phenomenon

Author(s): Dorian Burnette; David Dye; Arleen Hill

Year: 2018


Stephen Williams proposed the idea of a Vacant Quarter based on the abandonment of numerous Mississippian polities throughout much of the Midsouth and Midwest. The unprecedented, large-scale depopulation of an approximately 130,000 square kilometer area has been linked with population movements as well as interpolity conflict. By taking a dendroclimatological approach we evaluate the role of climate change in this process, while also being cognizant of social processes. We postulate a staggered process of depopulation with distinct polity histories resulting from both climatic and social variables characterized by numerous, small-scale abandonments and regional population movements.

Cite this Record

Stephen Williams and The Vacant Quarter Phenomenon. Dorian Burnette, David Dye, Arleen Hill. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 445121)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -168.574; min lat: 7.014 ; max long: -54.844; max lat: 74.683 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 21651