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Middle Woodland Culture History in the Great Lakes Riverine Area

Stuart Struever
American Antiquity
Vol. 31, No. 2, Part 1 (Oct., 1965), pp. 211-223
DOI: 10.2307/2693986
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2693986
Page Count: 13
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Middle Woodland Culture History in the Great Lakes Riverine Area
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Abstract

There are multiple structural and stylistic differences between local Middle Woodland expressions in the Great Lakes-Riverine area. These reflect not only different cultural systems but also in some cases different levels of cultural complexity. At present these manifestations are grouped into a single Hopewellian culture on the basis of selected artifact commonalities. Variations within Great Lakes-Riverine Middle Woodland are of several kinds: (1) complexes that include diagnostic Hopewellian culture artifacts are concentrated in the major river valleys, while apparently contemporary manifestations in neighboring localities lack Hopewellian forms; (2) if we employ artifact classes other than those used as Hopewellian diagnostics, Middle Woodland regional traditions can be defined that have distributions sharply different from those of specifically Hopewellian complexes; (3) comparison of Hopewellian manifestations in Ohio, Illinois, and elsewhere indicates that these are not local expressions of a homogeneous culture but probably representatives of more than one cultural system; and (4) structural analysis of Middle Woodland mortuary and subsistence-settlement patterns in two regions, Illinois and Ohio, indicates contrasting cultural systems. It is argued that if ceramics of the Havana tradition are classified according to criteria developed in the central Illinois Valley, then potentially significant local style variations will go unrecognized. Tentative definition of four microstyle zones within the Havana tradition illustrates the utility of a system of analysis geared to recognition of small-scale style differences.

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