From approximately AD 900 to 1600, ancient Mississippian culture dominated today's southeastern United States. These Native American societies, known more popularly as moundbuilders, had populations that numbered in the thousands, produced vast surpluses of food, engaged in longdistance trading, and were ruled by powerful leaders who raised large armies. Mississippian chiefdoms built fortified towns with massive earthen structures used as astrological monuments and burial grounds. The remnants of these cities-scattered throughout the Southeast from Florida north to Wisconsin and as far west as Texas-are still visible and awe-inspiring today.
This heavily illustrated guide brings these settlements to life with maps, artists' reconstructions, photos of artifacts, and historic and modern photos of sites, connecting our archaeological knowledge with what is visible when visiting the sites today. Anthropologist Eric E. Bowne discusses specific structures at each location and highlights noteworthy museums, artifacts, and cultural features. He also provides an introduction to Mississippian culture, offering background on subsistence and settlement practices, political and social organization, warfare, and belief systems that will help readers better understand these complex and remarkable places. Sites include Cahokia, Moundville, Etowah, and many more.