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Medieval Mississippians


Edited by Timothy R. Pauketat and Susan M. Alt

Medieval Mississippians, the eighth volume in the award-winning Popular Archaeology Series, introduces a key historical period in pre-Columbian eastern North America—the “Mississippian” era—via a series of colorful chapters on places, practices, and peoples written from Native American and non-Native perspectives on the past. The volume lays out the basic contours of the early centuries of this era (AD 1000–1300) in the Mississippian heartland, making connections to later centuries and contemporary peoples. Cahokia the place and Cahokian social history undergird the book, but Mississippian material culture, landscapes, and descendants are highlighted, presenting a balanced view of the Mississippian world.

2015. 168 pp., color plates, figures, maps, suggested reading, index, 8.5 x 11

Contributors: Susan M. Alt, Sarah E. Baires, Danielle M. Benden, Robert F. Boszhardt, Charles R. Cobb, Robert Cook, Marisa Miakonda Cummings, Thomas E. Emerson, Michael G. Farkas, Megan C. Kassabaum, Adam King, Brad H. Koldehoff, Fred Limp, John W. O’Hear, Timothy R. Pauketat, Angie Payne, Staffan Peterson, Donna J. Rausch, William F. Romain, Vincas P. Steponaitis, Amber M. VanDerwarker, Gregory D. Wilson, Snow Winters, Thomas J. Zych

Download an excerpt.

“Written for the general public and amply illustrated with black and white and color photographs, drawings, and maps, Medieval Mississippians is an important addition to the growing body of Mississippian literature. It is the eighth volume of an excellent series on North American archaeology by SAR Press.”
American Archaeology magazine, fall 2015


“Pauketat and Alt have done an impressive job of bringing twenty-eight archaeologists and Native Americans together to produce seventeen essays about the complex Mississippian culture, its many settlements, and how they related to each other and the ancient urban center of Cahokia, the largest prehistoric community in America, but still followed their own regional trajectories. The narratives are presented in a manner easily understood by the general reader but they are also of value to archaeologists and others fascinated with prehistory and culture. With each chapter, one learns more about the Mississippian world—its people, places, beliefs, and material culture—as it rose, flourished, and diminished. The numerous illustrations reveal the accomplishments of this ancient cultural tradition, how its world was organized, and the skill of its artisans.”
—William R. Iseminger, Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site

“This book elevates the Mississippians to a rightful place among the world’s greatest civilizations. Accessible and engaging, Medieval Mississippians brings to life the towns, mounds, temples, and technologies and of an astonishing culture that spanned the eastern United States eight hundred years ago. Even better, editors Pauketat and Alt crafted this work to reveal the breadth and range of Mississippian life, to explain how archaeologists work, and to remind readers that the Mississippians, far from being a lost people, have thousands of descendants living and working (including at archaeology) in the Mississippi Valley today. ”
—April K. Sievert, Indiana University


Places to Visit in the Cahokian World and Beyond
Chronology of the Cahokian World

  1. Medieval Life in America’s Heartland
    Timothy R. Pauketat and Susan M. Alt
  2. Cahokia’s Coles Creek Predecessors
    Vincas P. Steponaitis, Megan C. Kassabaum, and John W. O’Hear
  3. An American Indian City
    Timothy R. Pauketat, Thomas E. Emerson, Michael G. Farkas, and Sarah E. Baires
  4. Moonwatchers of Cahokia
    William F. Romain
  5. An Umonhon Perspective
    Marisa Miakonda Cummings
  6. Mississippians and Maize
    Amber M. VanDerwarker
  7. The Earth Goddess Cult at Cahokia
    Thomas E. Emerson
  8. Early Mississippian Outposts in the North
    Robert F. Boszhardt, Danielle M. Benden, and Timothy R. Pauketat
  9. The Game of Chunkey
    Thomas J. Zych
  10. The Fabric of Mississippian Society
    Susan M. Alt
  11. Lost Mississippian Towns Found on the Ohio
    Staffan Peterson
  12. Visualizing a Medieval Mississippian Town
    Fred Limp, Snow Winters, and Angie Payne
  13. Crafting the Medieval Landscape with Stone Tools
    Brad H. Koldehoff
  14. Incinerated Villages in the North
    Greg D. Wilson
  15. Mississippians in a Foreign Land
    Robert Cook
  16. Being Chickasaw at Shiloh
    Donna J. Rausch
  17. The Rise and Demise of Mississippian Capitals in the Southeast
    Charles R. Cobb and Adam King

There are no working papers for this book at the present time.