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ACCULTURATION IN THE MIDDLE MISSOURI VALLEY AS REFLECTED IN MODIFIED BONE ASSEMBLAGES

Timothy Weston
Plains Anthropologist
Vol. 38, No. 142 (February 1993), pp. 79-100
Published by: Maney Publishing on behalf of the Plains Anthropological Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25669142
Page Count: 22
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ACCULTURATION IN THE MIDDLE MISSOURI VALLEY AS REFLECTED IN MODIFIED BONE ASSEMBLAGES
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Abstract

During the process of contact, the Plains Village peoples of the Middle Missouri Valley were exposed to repeated smallpox epidemics and the introduction of Euro-American technology. This article traces the resulting process of acculturation through analysis of changes in bone tool assemblages from three Hidatsa earthlodge villages at the mouth of the Knife River in central North Dakota. Test excavations were carried out at Lower Hidatsa (32ME10), Sakakawea (32ME11), and Big Hidatsa (32ME12) villages, all of which were occupied by subgroups of the Hidatsa prior to and during the period of Euro-American contact. A total of 737 bone tools recovered from the three sites were analyzed using provenience, component, and other tool-specific variables. The modified bone from all three sites was then combined into one continuous sequence from A.D. 1400-1845 and correlated with the Indirect, Middlemen, and Direct periods of the fur trade. On the basis of this analysis, substantial social disruptions among the Hidatsa are postulated prior to actual contact, with an increasing level of dependence upon Euro-American traders after contact.

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