Circular Villages of the Monongahela Tradition by Bernard K. Means

By Bernard K. Means

This booklet deals a complete research of round village kinds. among A.D. a thousand and 1635, the population of southwestern Pennsylvania and parts of adjoining states - identified to archaeologists because the Monongahela tradition or culture - started to usually dwell in ring-shaped village settlements. those round settlements consisted of dwellings round a valuable plaza. A cross-cultural and cross-temporal evaluate of archaeological, ethnohistorical, and ethnographic instances demonstrates that this cost shape seemed many times and independently around the world, together with all through parts of the japanese Woodlands, one of the Plains Indians, and in imperative and South the US. particular archaeological circumstances are drawn from Somerset County, Pennsylvania, which has the biggest variety of thoroughly excavated Monongahela villages. every one of these villages, excavated within the Nineteen Thirties as federal aid tasks, have been lately dated. complete research of the broad excavations finds not just the geometric architectural patterning of the villages, yet allows an research of the social groupings, inhabitants estimates, and fiscal prestige of citizens that inhabited the round villages. round patterning should be published at much less totally excavated archaeological websites. targeted attempt excavations will help determine round village plans with out huge and damaging excavations.

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D. d. d. d. d. 1630). Some researchers (Raber et al. 1989) have questioned the validity of this tripartite chronological scheme and its further subdivision into phases that usually have a geographic dimension. Most Monongahela tradition periods and phases are constructed based on trait lists, particularly those traits related to ceramic attributes. Raber et al. (1989:39) argued that a focus on trait lists obscures substantial regional and local diversity. Thus, where possible in this work, radiocarbon assays and not culturehistoric temporal constructs are used to assign ages to individual village components.

They further emphasized that patterning in these data resulted from adaptive responses to both local and regional environmental and social variables. Nass and Hart (2000) concluded that climatic deterioration models and allied warfare models do not account for spatial and temporal variation within and between regions. These models generally fail to consider social and technological buffering mechanisms, such as storage facilities, community-wide distribution of resources, and village sites linked to hamlet and camp sites distributed in diverse ecological settings (Nass and Hart 2000:127; see also Hart 1993, 1995, and Hart et al.

A key function of dwellings is to anchor people in space and to link them in time (Gillespie 2000a:3, 2000d:136). Gillespie (2000a, 2000d) explicitly discussed why the notion of Houses has become attractive to some archaeologists. In particular, the House concept emphasizes that the dwelling is a localizing element within the physical landscape and that it is part of a multidimensional social network (Gillespie 2000a:21). According to Gillespie (2000a:2, 2000d:48), archaeologists can use the House concept to study past social groups without encountering some of the limitations of traditional kinship studies.

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