Interaction, population movement, and political economy [electronic resource] : the changing social landscape of northeastern Florida (a.d. 900-1500) /

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ABSTRACT: This dissertation details the late prehistory of northeastern Florida (A.D. 900-1500) by interrelating the political economy of local and extralocal social relations. Specifically, it explores how broad-scale processes, like exchange and migration, unfold over time and impact a particular local history. Around A.D. 900, a demographic shift, sparked in part by the reemergence of far-flung communication and exchange networks across the Early Mississippian world of eastern North America, resulted in the northward movement of St. Johns people into northeastern Florida. Over the next few centuries, St. Johns II communities, such as Mill Cove Complex and Mt. Royal, were active participants in exchange relations that exported marine shell and other coastal resources and brought in nonlocal objects of stone, metal, and mineral. ABSTRACT: Eschewing a traditional prestige goods interpretation, this study uses available settlement and mortuary data to argue for a communal political economy among St. Johns II societies, but one that availed itself of social inequality. Situated between the St. Johns II fishers of northeastern Florida and the farming chiefdoms of the Mississippian world were Ocmulgee hunter-gatherers of southern-central Georgia. These foraging groups served as key contacts in St. Johns II participation in Mississippian-period exchange. Direct interactions among these groups are evidenced by the presence of Ocmulgee Cordmarked pottery on St. Johns II sites in northeastern Florida and at Mt. Royal. Results of instrumental neutron activation analysis are presented to corroborate this interpretation. Changing historical circumstances altered the extent to which St. Johns II societies participated in long-distance relations. As a result, by A.D. 1250, most St. ABSTRACT: Johns II people appear to have abandoned northeastern Florida and moved upriver (south). A century or so earlier, Ocmulgee groups had begun to leave their homeland and resettle in southeastern Georgia, perhaps merging with other foraging peoples. By ca. A.D. 1250, these groups known to archaeologists today as St. Marys II expanded southward into northeastern Florida, a move roughly concurrent with the retreat of St. Johns II peoples. The descendents of these foraging immigrants became the sixteenth-century fishers and part-time cultivators of maize who encountered French and Spanish interlopers. Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format. System requirements: World Wide Web browser and PDF reader. Mode of access: World Wide Web. Title from title page of source document. Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2003. Includes vita. Includes bibliographical references.

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The Mill Cove Complex is an early Mississippi period settlement and mortuary center situated near the mouth of the St. Johns River, Florida. The complex consists of habitation and ritual middens, earthen causeways, and the Grant and Shields mounds. Although situated on the outskirts of the Mississippian world, residents of Mill Cove acquired exotic artifacts and raw materials from far-flung areas of eastern North America, including Cahokia. Focusing on a special event or ritual midden known as Kinzey’s Knoll, this chapter explores social memory and the use of pieces of the past in ritual at Mill Cove.
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This study integrates disparate geographical areas of the American Southeast to show how studies of Early Mississippian (A.D. 900-1250) interactions can benefit from a multiscalar approach. Rather than focus on contact and exchanges between farming communities, as is the case with most Mississippian interaction studies, we turn our attention to social relations between village-dwelling St. Johns II fisher-hunter-gatherers of northeastern Florida and more mobile Ocmulgee foragers of southern-central Georgia; non-neighboring groups situated beyond and within the southeastern edge of the Mississippian world, respectively. We draw upon neutron activation analysis data to document the presence of both imported and locally produced Ocmulgee Cordmarked wares in St. Johns II domestic and ritual contexts. Establishing social relations with Ocmulgee households or kin groups through exchange and perhaps marriage would have facilitated St. Johns II access into the Early Mississippian world and enabled them to acquire the exotic copper, stone, and other minerals found in St. Johns mortuary mounds. This study underscores the multiscalarity of past societies and the importance of situating local histories in broader geographical contexts.
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