University Of Iowa Press, 2003. — 272 p.From the end of the Ice Age to the fur trade era, Twelve Millennia: Archaeology of the Upper Mississippi River Valley provides an excellent overview of the 12,000-year human past of the Driftless region of the Upper Mississippi River Valley - roughly from Dubuque, Iowa, to Red Wing, Minnesota, but framed within a somewhat larger area extending from the Rock Island Rapids at the modern Moline-Rock Island area to the Falls of St. Anthony at Minneapolis-St. Paul.James Theler and Robert Boszhardt tell the story of past peoples of the Upper Mississippi from the first inhabitants who lived alongside mammoths and mastodons, through the Wood-land cultures, best known for the exotic materials buried in the Hopewell Mounds and the animal-shaped Effigy Mounds, into the days of the Oneota - intensive corn farmers who supplemented their diet through annual buffalo hunts - and the era of European contact and the end of prehistory. The book concludes with useful catalogs of the animal remains and rock art found in the valley as well as a list of archaeological sites and museums to visit.Focusing as much on ancient peoples as on their artifacts, this well-illustrated, carefully written book draws upon accumulated knowledge of past climate changes, such as the end of the last Ice Age, and of human adaptation to shifting environments through technological innovations and social stimuli as seen in the introduction of the bow and arrow and the adaptation of corn agriculture.Targeted for a nonprofessional audience, this informative, accessible book is written not for the specialist but for the general public, avocational archaeologists, college professors and high school teachers needing a text for midwestern prehistory, and park and natural area managers.James Theleris professor of archaeology in the Department of Sociology and Archaeology at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. Robert Boszhardt is associate director of the Mississippi Valley Archaeology Center, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. They have each spent more than twenty years as archaeologists in this area, and they have a strong interest in public archaeology.
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