Environment, Climate, and Mississippian Origins in the Lower Mississippi Valley and the Mississippi River Delta
This is an abstract from the "Migration and Climate Change: The Spread of Mississippian Culture" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.
The Lower Mississippi Valley (LMV) and Mississippi River Delta (MRD) are dramatically impacted by long-term and seasonal fluctuations in water levels, storm cycles, and flooding. In both regions, unpredictable storm events, upstream changes in water flow, and increased water salinity (as well as a host of other factors) led to environmental changes that influenced the development of Mississippian societies during the last 500 years before European contact. Mississippian societies are defined by a suite of cultural characteristics such as wall-trench architecture, reliance on specific lithic material sources, shell-tempered pottery, and maize agriculture. These traits appear at different times in the LMV and MRD, and in some cases, they were associated with large-scale ecosystems changes such as transitions from forests to parklands and grasslands, a process which was likely exacerbated by anthropogenic fires. Considering these coupled paleoenvironmental and archaeological datasets, this paper evaluates features of Mississippian societies in the LMV and MRD, the chronology of their appearance in these areas, and comparisons and contrasts between the LMV and MRD andother hearths of Mississippian development across the Eastern Woodlands. This research strives to correlate long-term patterns of climatic and environmental change with the development of Mississippian societies and responses to European contact.
Cite this Record
Environment, Climate, and Mississippian Origins in the Lower Mississippi Valley and the Mississippi River Delta. Jayur Mehta, Christopher Rodning. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 451015)
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min long: -93.735; min lat: 24.847 ; max long: -73.389; max lat: 39.572 ;
Abstract Id(s): 24794