Within the last 50 years archaeologists have discovered that around the 10th century AD, native Southeastern peoples began a process of cultural change far more complex than anything that had occurred previously. These late prehistoric societies - known as Mississippian - have come to be regarded as chiefdoms. The chiefdoms are of great anthropological interest because in these kinds of societies social hierarchies - or rank and status - were first institutionalised. In this book, Blitz focuses on both the small- and large-scale Mississippian societies in the Tombigbee-Black Warrior River region of Alabama and Mississippi. He concludes that the sanctified, security maintenance roles of communal food storage management and war leadership were a sufficient basis for formal chiefly authority but insufficient for economically based social stratification. This book is a Dan Josselyn memorial publication.