The earliest recorded description of the Central Mississippi Valley and its inhabitants is contained within the DeSoto chronicles written after the conquistadors passed through the area between 1539 and 1543. In 1882 a field agent for the Bureau of American Ethnology conducted the first systematic archaeological survey of the region, an area that extends from near the mouth of the Ohio River to the mouth of the Arkansas River, bounded on the east by the Mississippi River and on the west by the Ozark Highlands and Grand Prairie. One hundred years later, the Morses produced this first comprehensive overview of all of the archaeological research conducted in the valley during the interim. It is a well-organized compendium, written with both the professional archaeologist and the layperson in mind, and is profusely illustrated with maps, charts, artifact photographs, and drawings. This volume was the first published history of the archaeology of the region and stands as the basic resource for that work today.
Dan F. Morse is a retired research archaeologist, Arkansas Archeological Survey. Phyllis A. Morse is an archaeologist and independent scholar.
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