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Cultures Before Contact: The Late Prehistory of Ohio and Surrounding Regions

Thematic Issue: Celebrating Ohio's Historical Archaeology

Edited by Robert A Genheimer

Ohio Archaeological Council © 2000

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This publication contains thirteen papers describing the Late Prehistoric time period (ca. A.D. 1000-1650) and sites of Ohio and surrounding states.

The Late Prehistoric period in Ohio and surrounding regions was a time of great changes in subsistence, settlement, and social structure. Maize and other cultigens became the staple food, populations became sedentary — living in villages, and previously egalitarian societies developed social mechanisms and often social hierarchies to cope with these broad changes. Unfortunately, this evolution of Native American settlement and culture was interrupted and forever altered by the arrival in what is now America of Europeans beginning at the end of the Fifteenth Century. Cultures Before Contact attempts to capture Native American settlement and describe important sites prior to the point of European contact.

Cultures Before Contact provides to both archaeologists and the interested public the great variety in Native American cultures that existed in the Ohio region during the last millennium. Twenty authors present original articles on regional cultural overviews, settlement and subsistence, and important Late Prehistoric sites. Regional overviews span much of Ohio and surrounding regions including the Late Woodland and Indian Hills Phase groups of northwest Ohio and southern Michigan; Whittlesey Tradition groups of northeast Ohio; Monongahela communities of eastern Ohio, southwestern Pennsylvania, western Maryland, and northern West Virginia; and Fort Ancient cultures of southern Ohio and northern and north-central Kentucky. Cultures Before Contact attempts to capture Native American settlement and describe important sites prior to the point of European contact. Robert A. Genheimer is the Archaeological Collections Manager at the Geier Collections and Research Facility of the Cincinnati Museum Center.

Table of Contents

Introduction, Robert A. Genheimer

Section One: Regional Overviews and Cultural Development

  • The Land Between the Lakes: New Perspectives on the Late Woodland (ca. A.D. 500- 1300) Time Period in the Region of the St. Clair-Detroit River System, David M. Stothers and Susan K. Bechtel
  • The Protohistoric Time Period in the Southwestern Lake Erie Region: European- Derived Trade Material, Population Movement and Cultural Realignment, David M. Stothers
  • Late Prehistoric Societies of Northeastern Ohio and Adjacent Portions of the South Shore of Lake Erie: A Review, David S. Brose
  • Subsistence-Settlement Change During the Late Prehistoric Period in the Upper Ohio River Valley: New Models and Old Constructs, John P. Nass, Jr. and John P. Hart
  • Fort Ancient in the Central Muskingum Valley of Eastern Ohio: A View from the Philo II Site, Jeff Carskadden and James Morton
  • Insights into Fort Ancient Culture Change: A View from South of the Ohio River, David Pollack and A. Gwynn Henderson
  • Madisonville Focus Revisited: Reexcavating Southwestern Ohio Fort Ancient from Museum Collections, Penelope E. Drooker

Section Two: Sites

  • Preliminary Report on Excavations at the Fort Ancient State Line Site, 33 Ha 58, in the Central Ohio Valley, Kent D. Vickery, Theodore S. Sunderhaus, and Robert A. Genheimer
  • New Perspectives on South Fort Village, a Late Prehistoric Site within the Fort Ancient State Memorial, Warren County, Ohio, Brett Harper
  • The Prehistoric Use of A Greene County, Ohio Rockshelter, Gavine N. Pitner
  • Cemetery Ridge: An Early Village Site Located in Sandusky County, Ohio, Timothy J. Abel, Jason M. Koralewski, and George E. DeMuth
  • Peas in a Pod?: Diversity at Small Late Prehistoric Components in Southwest Ohio, Robert V. Riordan

Section Three: Commentary

  • Reviewing the Late Prehistory of Ohio, Brian G. Redmond

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