University Press of Florida, 2001. — 292 p.Jon Gibson confronts the intriguing mystery of Poverty Point, the ruins of a large prehistoric Indian settlement that was home to one of the most fascinating ancient cultures in eastern North America.
The 3,500-year-old site in northeastern Louisiana is known for its large, elaborate earthworks - a series of concentric, crescent-shaped dirt rings and bird-shaped mounds. With its imposing 25-mile core, it is one of the largest archaic constructions on American soil. It's also one of the most puzzling - perplexing questions haunt Poverty Point, and archaeologists still speculate about life and culture at the site, its age, how it was created, and if it was at the forefront of an emerging complex society.
Gibson's engaging, well-illustrated account of Poverty Point brings to life one of the oldest earthworks of its size in the Western Hemisphere, the hub of a massive exchange network among native American peoples reaching a third of the way across the present-day United States.Gibson, the eminent authority on the site, boldly launches the first full-scale political, economic, and organizational analysis of Poverty Point and nearby affiliated sites. Writing in an informal style, he examines the period's architecture, construction, tools and appliances, economy, exchange, and ceremonies.Jon L. Gibson is professor of anthropology and director of the Center for Archaeological Studies at the University of Louisiana, Lafayette. He is the author of Ancient Earthworks of the Ouachita Valley in Louisiana and the editor of Exchange in the Lower Mississippi Valley and Contiguous Areas at 1100 B.C.
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