This collection provides a comprehensive vocabulary for defining the cultural manifestation of the term ""Woodland."" The Middle Ohio Valley is an archaeologically rich region that stretches from southeastern Indiana, across southern Ohio and northeastern Kentucky, and into northwestern West Virginia. In this area are some of the most spectacular and diverse Woodland Period archaeological sites in North America. These sites gave rise to some of the earliest broadly inclusive archaeological taxonomic units in eastern North America, but these constructs have long outlived their usefulness. This volume, with contributions by most of the senior researchers in the field, represents an important step toward establishing terminology and taxa that are more appropriate to interpreting cultural diversity in the region. The important questions are diverse. What criteria are useful in defining periods and cultural types, and over what spatial and temporal boundaries do those criteria hold? How can we accommodate regional variation in the development and expression of traits used to delineate periods and cultural types? How does the concept of tradition relate to periods and cultural types? Is it prudent to equate culture types with periods? Is it prudent to equate archaeological cultures with ethnographic cultures? How does the available taxonomy hinder research? Contributing authors address these issues, and others in the context of their Middle Ohio Valley Woodland Period research.
Darlene Applegate is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Western Kentucky University. Robert C. Mainfort Jr. is an archaeologist with the Arkansas Archeological Survey in Fayetteville, Professor of Anthropology at the University of Arkansas, and co-editor of The Woodland Southeast.