2,250 to 500 BP : Middle Woodland to Mississippian

 

 

 

       The Middle Woodland Period ran from 2250-1550 BP. During this period, the Hopewell

culture of the Ohio River valley waxed and waned. It strongly affected peoples this far

west as it did those in the other directions. DL33 and DL49 were villages located at the

mouth of Honey Creek into Grand River, both with Hopewell affiliations. Grave goods of

the time exhibited far-reaching trade with obsidian, mica, copper, shark teeth, and

marine shell turning up. Their pottery types were Cooper Zoned-Stamped, Honey Creek plain,

Ozark zoned stamped, Cowskin Dentate stamped, and Renner Cross-Hatched. Their points

include the Grand, Snyders, Gary, and Langtry, Rice side-notched, and Kings Corner notched,

and the North knife has also been found with their remains. Other Woodland sites occurred

at DL48, on Honey Creek, MD1 and MD2, both near Big Sugar Creek, MD9 and MD10, both on

Indian Creek, and NE47 and NE50, on Shoal Creek. Slate pendants, shell bead pendants,

pottery, and a sandstone pipe fragment have been found at these sites, but some may have

been mixed in from later periods. Unassociated items of European manufacture have also

turned up from this time period. One was a stone carved with Ogam script found near  

Maysville, Arkansas, and dated to 2200-2100 BP. Another is a Carthaginian coin found

buried 6 inches deep near Spring River, which dates to around 2150 BP.

       Around 2200 BP, Eratosthenes, a Greek, determined the circumference of the earth

to within 100 miles, and Egyptians produced the Rosetta Stone. By 2150 BP, the Greek

astronomer, Hipparchus, had worked out the distance to the moon using trigonometry.

Julius Caesar was assassinated in 2044 BP, and around 2000 BP, or AD1, Jesus of

Nazareth was born. The Mayans were writing then, and early Buddhist manuscripts come

from this period. In 79 A.D., Mt. Vesuvius buried Pompeii and Herculaneum, and in the same

year, Josephus reports that the Romans destroyed the Great Temple at Jerusalem. The

Hopewell peoples of Ohio built the Serpent Mound around 1800 BP. The Mayan Classic Period

with its impressive architecture and obsidian and jade artifactsran from 1750-1100 BP.

      From 1750-1350 BP, the Scandic climatic episode occurred, which was slightly

warmer and drier. The Late Woodland Period in this area covers the time between

1550-1100 BP. Weaver plain and cordmarked grit tempered pottery appear around 1550 BP, 

maize and the bow and arrow were introduced late in the Period, and Scallorn point types

appear around 1400 BP. The moister Neo-Atlantic climatic episode existed between

1350-850 BP. Around 1300 BP, the Mayans were constructing a 600 foot bridge, and by

1250 BP, maize was one of the leading staples in the midwest. Madison points appear about

1200 years ago, when Charlemagne, the first emporor of the Holy Roman Empire, ordered

the years to be numbered A.D., and Popocatepetl erupted, burying Puebla valley pyramids

40 miles southeast of Mexico City.

      The Anasazi people ruled a 40,000 square mile area in the American southwest between

1100-850 BP, and the Early Mississippian Period in this area ran from 1100-800 BP. The

Mississippian peoples in this area were mainly concerned with the rise and

fall of the Caddoan Empire. This was a religion dominated civilization centered in the

central southeast. This area was toward its northwest corner. They constructed platform

mounds, square with the corners pointing in the cardinal directions, for civic-ceremonial

use. Five sites with these mounds have been located in this area, one on the south side of

the Neosho River in Delaware County, OK., one on the south side of the Illinois River in the

southwest corner of Benton County, AR., one on the west side of White River near Elkins

in Washington Co., AR., one on the south side of Elk River near its confluence with the

Grand River in Delaware Co., OK., and one at the top of Elk River where Big Sugar Creek

and Little Sugar Creek join in McDonald Co., MO. Another site showing striking similarities

lies in a valley about three-quarter mile southwest of Redding's Mill near Shoal Creek in

Newton Co., MO. Other Mississippian sites include a cluster of seven around the Woodward

Hollow-Neosho River confluence, a group of three near the Honey Creek-Neosho River

confluence, a group of three near the Elk River-Neosho River confluence, and a few more

on Neosho River, Drowning Creek, Elk River, and Indian Creek. Shell tempered pottery was

typical of the times and the types - Neosho punctate, Weaver plain, and Woodward plain

were in use. Small triangular points such as Morris, Reed, and Huffaker, all apparently

forms of the Cahokia point type appear around 1100 BP, and Fort Ancient blades and Harahey

knives have turned up occasionally. Ear spools were worn, though probably only by priests.

Pipes were in use, and hoes are frequently found due to their reliance on maize.

     1000 years ago, movable type was invented. A case can be made that it changed the

world. Almost 1000 years later the same may be said for the computer. I wonder what

we'll think of next?

 

                                        THE END

                                      _____________

 

REFERENCES

 

   Asimov, I., 1987, Beginnings, The Story of Origins - of Mankind, Life, the Earth,

          the Universe. Walker & Co.

   Adams, L.M., 1958, Archaeological Investigations of Southwest Missouri. Missouri

          Archaeologist, vol.20, pp.1-199

   Baerreis, D.A., 1954, The Huffaker Site, Delaware County, Oklahoma. Oklahoma

          Anthropological Society Bulletin, vol.2, pp.35-48

   Baerreis, D.A., 1955, Further Material from the Huffaker Site, Delaware Co., Oklahoma.

          Oklahoma Anthropological Society Bulletin, vol.3, pp.53-70

   Baerreis, D.A., Freeman, J.E., Wright, J.V., 1958, The Contracting Stem Projectile

          Point in Eastern Oklahoma. Oklahoma Anthropological Society Bulletin, v.6, p.61-82

   Bell, R.E., Perino, G., 1958-71, Guide to the Identification of Certain American

          Indian Projectile Points. Oklahoma Anthropological Society Special Bulletin,

          nos. 1-4

   Chapman, C.H., 1980, The Archaeology of Missouri, Part 2.

   Crane, H.R., Griffin, J.B., 1960, University of Michigan Radiocarbon Dates V. American

          Journal of Science Radiocarbon Supplement, vol. 2, pp. 31-48

   Freeman, J.E., 1962, The Neosho Focus: A Late Prehistoric Culture in Northeastern

          Oklahoma. Oklahoma Anthropological Society Bulletin, v.10, pp.1-25

   Marshall, R.A., 1963, Arch. of Jasper Co., Earnest J. Palmer collection. Plains Anth.,

          8(19):1-26

   National Geographic

   O'Brien, M.J., 1996, Paradigms of the Past, Missouri Archaeology.

   O'Brien, M.J., Wood, W.R., 1998, The Prehistory of Missouri. University of Missouri Press

   Overstreet, R.M., 1997, The Overstreet Indian Arrowheads Identification and Price

          Guide. Avon

   Perino, G., 1985, Selected Preforms, Points, and Knives of the North American

          Indians. vol. 1

   Ray, J.H., 1996, Preservation Measures and Limited Test Excavations at the Pineville

          Site. Missouri Archaeological Society Quarterly, July-Sept., pp.12-19

   Steyermark, J.A., 1959, Vegetational History of the Ozark Forest. University of

          Missouri Studies, vol.31

 

 

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