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David S. Brose

Prehistoric site in North America. It is the largest of several mounds along the Scioto River north of Chillicothe, OH. Although it is the eponym of the Early Woodland-period Adena culture of the Upper Ohio River Valley (c. 1000–c. 100 bc), the date of the mound itself is unknown. No stylized engraved palettes, characteristic of Adena culture, were found. The mound comprises a penannular earthwork built in several stages to a height of 8 m. A circular structure with sloping sides and double-set wooden post walls was constructed on a floor from which numerous fires had been cleared. Next, burials were placed centrally in rectangular tombs dug into the floor of the structure, a low mound was heaped over them and the funerary structure was burned. The entire area was then covered by layers of black sand incorporating several new cremations and burials outside the central tombs. For some considerable time after this, additional cremated human remains and extended burials were placed in further layers of sand and gravel. The cremation and inhumation burials, and occasionally clay-covered bundles of bones, were accompanied by annular and penannular copper bracelets and rings; cut river mussel shell animal effigies; cut mica headbands; expanded centre gorgets, ground, polished and drilled, of schist and chlorite; and a human effigy carved in the round on an Ohio pipestone tube....

Article

Cahokia  

David M. Jones

Site in the USA in East St Louis, IL, of a huge Pre-Columbian city. Founded c. ad 700, it was the largest prehistoric city ever built north of Mexico and was probably influenced by political and civic ideas from Mesoamerica, Pre-Columbian. At its height, between ...

Article

David S. Brose

Site of a prehistoric village with complex earthworks, which flourished on the banks of Caloosahatchee River near Lake Okeechobee in south Florida, USA. By c. 450 bc the hunter–gatherer occupants had created a 9 m-wide, 350 m-diameter circular ditch to drain a vast garden plot. By ...

Article

Catherine S. Fowler

Prehistoric rock art site in North America, in the steep-walled sandstone canyon country of south-eastern Utah. The Great Gallery is the principal site in the canyon and features one of the finest painted pictograph panels in North America. It is dominated by dozens of large anthropomorphic figures (some nearly 2 m), best representative and definitive of the ...

Article

David S. Brose

Prehistoric village site on the west coast of Florida, south of Fort Myers. It was one of dozens of such shell midden sites, first occupied c. ad 700 and abandoned after c. ad 1300 (perhaps destroyed in a hurricane). At the time of the arrival of the first Spanish explorers, the ...

Article

Deborah A. Middleton

Prehistoric site in North America in north-east Louisiana, 50 km west of the Mississippi River, along Bayou Maçon. Poverty Point is an integrated architectural complex established between 1700–1100 BC, predating the construction of Mayan pyramids, situated on over 400 acres of land located on a marshy tributary at the confluence of numerous rivers near the west bank of the Mississippi River. This UNESCO World Heritage Site consists of four larger earthen mounds, six vast concentric semi-elliptical earthen ridges, estimated to be originally 1.5 m in height, and a large flat plaza defined by the innermost ridge, which covers 35 acres. The significance of this archaeological site is partially due to the unprecedented volume (over 750,000 cubic metres) of earthworks required to create the unique complex design executed by a pre-agricultural society whose form can only be perceived from the air....

Article

Craig D. Bates

Site in North America of the most elaborate known Chumash rock art, near the Emigdiano village site of Tashlipunau in the extreme south-west corner of Kern County, CA. The area is north of Mt Pinos, one of the mountain peaks most sacred to the Chumash, near the centre of their universe. The area was probably recognized as a place of supernatural power and may have been a ritual centre. Spread through four cave shelters are neatly and carefully executed paintings, comprising large circular motifs with concentric rings, zoomorphic and anthropomorphic figures, dots, bifurcated and zigzag forms painted in black, white, yellow, cream, shades of red, orange, green and blue-green. While much of the patterning and colours are like those found in other Chumash rock art sites, the ...

Article

Area in Canada comprising Prince Rupert Harbour and the Skeena River, BC, where about a dozen Tsimshian culture sites have yielded about 20,000 bone, antler and stone artefacts (e.g. Hull, Qué., Can. Mus. Civiliz.). Among these some 100 show characteristics of the development of the Pre-Columbian art of the northern Northwest Coast peoples. By ...

Article

Marie Mauzé

Region of eastern Vancouver Island and the adjacent Canadian–US mainland, opposite the Fraser River delta and canyon. It is the homeland of the Native American Coast Salish and the location of a number of Pre-Columbian sites, including Marpole, Glenrose, St Mungo, Locarno Beach and Musqueam around the Fraser delta. The first art, including sculpture in the round, appeared during the Developmental period (...

Article

G. Lola Worthington

Archaeological areas in eastern and southern North America reveal advanced mound building cultures from several different cultural phases. Around 1500 bc, several North American indigenous groups attained the sophisticated cultural “Woodlands” phase. For over a millennium, three principle cultural groups, the Adena, Hopewell and Mississippian, built elaborate advanced earthen structures and large temples in the Upper Ohio Valley of Kentucky and West Virginia. Accompanying the earthen monuments was an ambitious religious devotee system....