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This paper may be of particular interest to:  Students
Type: Paper
Paper Title: MULTIPLE MODES OF MONUMENTALITY: ARCHAEOLOGICAL CASE STUDIES FROM THE AMERICAN SOUTH
Author: MEGAN KASSABAUM, DAVID CRANFORD (University of North Carolina), ERIN STEVENS (University of North Carolina)   
Date/Time: Sat., 3:00 PM
Co-Author(s): MEGAN KASSABAUM, DAVID CRANFORD (University of North Carolina), ERIN STEVENS (University of North Carolina) 
Abstract: Materiality studies have traditionally focused on objects, often to the exclusion of the built environments in which those objects circulate. In the southeastern United States and elsewhere, some of the most dynamic material remains of past societies exist at the scale of landscape. Monumental constructions such as mounds were inscribed with culturally and historically situated meaning and were variously deployed for political and social purposes. While using mounds to talk about the construction of political and social relationships is nothing new, interpretations regarding the nature of those relationships have been fairly limited. Traditional thinking promotes the idea that mounds were locations constructed for and manipulated by elite members of society. While there is compelling ethnohistoric evidence to support such interpretations, we suggest that this relationship between mounds and elites is only one among many potential scenarios. Further, we propose that the tendency to relate the two may be a consequence of the distorting effects of time perspectivism. Interestingly, the material qualities of the mounds themselves—specifically their durability and conspicuous presence on the landscape—may be partially responsible for this conflation. We wish to reevaluate the social contexts in which mounds as material objects were created and used. If elites were not the sole actors involved in creating these material landscapes, who else was involved and what motivated their participation? Case studies from the Lower Mississippi Valley and the Caddoan region are used to illustrate the situated nature of mounds as locations of communal identity construction, political contestation, and commemoration.

Program Number: 4-0665
Session Title: THEORETICAL ADVANCES IN CONTEMPORARY ARCHAEOLOGY
Session Sponsor: Archaeology Division
Session Date/Time: Sat., 1:45 PM-3:30 PM
Organizer(s): ANNUAL MEETING PROGRAM COMMITTEE (AAA) 
Chair(s): AMY GAZIN-SCHWARTZ (Assumption College)  
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