The Mississippian culture was a mound-building Native American civilization archeologists date from about 800 CE to 1600 CE, varying regionally. It was composed of a series of urban settlements and satellite villages linked together by a loose trading network; the largest city was Cahokia, believed to be a major religious center. The civilization flourished from the southern shores of the Great Lakes at Western New York and Western Pennsylvania in what is now the Eastern Midwest, extending south-southwest into the lower Mississippi Valley and wrapping easterly around the southern foot of the Appalachians barrier range into what is now the Southeastern United States; the Mississippian way of life began to develop in the Mississippi River Valley. Cultures in the tributary Tennessee River Valley may have begun to develop Mississippian characteristics at this point. All dated Mississippian sites predate 1539–1540, with notable exceptions being Natchez communities that maintained Mississippian cultural practices into the 18th century.
A number of cultural traits are recognized as being characteristic of the Mississippians. Although not all Mississippian peoples practiced all of the following activities, they were distinct from their ancestors in adoption of some or all of these traits; the construction of large, truncated earthwork pyramid mounds, or platform mounds. Such mounds were square, rectangular, or circular. Structures were constructed atop such mounds. Maize-based agriculture. In most places, the development of Mississippian culture coincided with adoption of comparatively large-scale, intensive maize agriculture, which supported larger populations and craft specialization. Women ate more maize, whereas men ate more animal meat. Shell-tempered pottery; the adoption and use of riverine shells as tempering agents in ceramics. Widespread trade networks extending as far west as the Rockies, north to the Great Lakes, south to the Gulf of Mexico, east to the Atlantic Ocean; the development of the chiefdom or complex chiefdom level of social complexity.
The development of institutionalized social inequality. A centralization of control of combined political and religious power in the hands of few or one; the beginnings of a settlement hierarchy, in which one major center has clear influence or control over a number of lesser communities, which may or may not possess a smaller number of mounds. The adoption of the paraphernalia of the Southeastern Ceremonial Complex called the Southern Cult; this is the belief system of the Mississippians. SECC items are found in Mississippian-culture sites from Wisconsin to the Gulf Coast, from Florida to Arkansas and Oklahoma; the SECC was tied into ritual game-playing, as with chunkey. The Mississippians had no writing stone architecture, they worked occurring metal deposits, such as hammering and annealing copper for ritual objects such as Mississippian copper plates and other decorations, but did not smelt iron or practice bronze metallurgy. The Mississippi stage is divided into three or more chronological periods.
Each period is an arbitrary historical distinction varying regionally. At a particular site, each period may be considered to begin earlier or depending on the speed of adoption or development of given Mississippian traits; the "Mississippi period" should not be confused with the "Mississippian culture". The Mississippi period is the chronological stage, while Mississippian culture refers to the cultural similarities that characterize this society; the Early Mississippi period had just transitioned from the Late Woodland period way of life. Different groups abandoned tribal lifeways for increasing complexity, sedentism and agriculture. Production of surplus corn and attractions of the regional chiefdoms led to rapid population concentrations in major centers; the Middle Mississippi period is the apex of the Mississippi era. The expansion of the great metropolis and ceremonial complex at Cahokia, the formation of other complex chiefdoms, the spread and development of SECC art and symbolism are characteristic changes of this period.
The Mississippian traits listed above came to be widespread throughout the region. The Late Mississippi period is characterized by increasing warfare, political turmoil, population movement; the population of Cahokia dispersed early in this period migrating to other rising political centers. More defensive structures are seen at sites, sometimes a decline in mound-building and large-scale, public ceremonialism. Although some areas continued an Middle Mississippian culture until the first significant contact with Europeans, the population of most areas had dispersed or were experiencing severe social stress by 1500. Along with the contemporaneous Ancestral Pueblo peoples, these cultural collapses coincide with the global climate change of the Little Ice Age. Scholars theorize drought and the reduction of maize agriculture, together with possible deforestation and overhunting by the concentrated populations, forced them to move away from major sites; this period ended with European contact in the 16th century.
The term Middle Mississippian is used to describe the core of the classic Mississippian culture area. This area covers the central Mississippi River Valley, the lower Ohio River Valley, most of the Mid-South area, including western and central Kentucky, western Tennessee, northern Alabama and Mississippi. Sites in this area often
Louisiana is a state in the Deep South region of the South Central United States. It is the 25th most populous of the 50 United States. Louisiana is bordered by the state of Texas to the west, Arkansas to the north, Mississippi to the east, the Gulf of Mexico to the south. A large part of its eastern boundary is demarcated by the Mississippi River. Louisiana is the only U. S. state with political subdivisions termed parishes. The state's capital is Baton Rouge, its largest city is New Orleans. Much of the state's lands were formed from sediment washed down the Mississippi River, leaving enormous deltas and vast areas of coastal marsh and swamp; these contain a rich southern biota. There are many species of tree frogs, fish such as sturgeon and paddlefish. In more elevated areas, fire is a natural process in the landscape, has produced extensive areas of longleaf pine forest and wet savannas; these support an exceptionally large number of plant species, including many species of terrestrial orchids and carnivorous plants.
Louisiana has more Native American tribes than any other southern state, including four that are federally recognized, ten that are state recognized, four that have not received recognition. Some Louisiana urban environments have a multicultural, multilingual heritage, being so influenced by a mixture of 18th-century French, Spanish, Native American, African cultures that they are considered to be exceptional in the US. Before the American purchase of the territory in 1803, present-day Louisiana State had been both a French colony and for a brief period a Spanish one. In addition, colonists imported numerous African people as slaves in the 18th century. Many came from peoples of the same region of West Africa. In the post-Civil War environment, Anglo-Americans increased the pressure for Anglicization, in 1921, English was for a time made the sole language of instruction in Louisiana schools before a policy of multilingualism was revived in 1974. There has never been an official language in Louisiana, the state constitution enumerates "the right of the people to preserve and promote their respective historic and cultural origins."
Louisiana was named after Louis XIV, King of France from 1643 to 1715. When René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle claimed the territory drained by the Mississippi River for France, he named it La Louisiane; the suffix -ana is a Latin suffix that can refer to "information relating to a particular individual, subject, or place." Thus Louis + ana carries the idea of "related to Louis." Once part of the French Colonial Empire, the Louisiana Territory stretched from present-day Mobile Bay to just north of the present-day Canada–United States border, including a small part of what is now the Canadian provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan. The Gulf of Mexico did not exist 250 million years ago when there was but one supercontinent, Pangea; as Pangea split apart, the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico opened. Louisiana developed, over millions of years, from water into land, from north to south; the oldest rocks are exposed in areas such as the Kisatchie National Forest. The oldest rocks date back to the early Cenozoic Era, some 60 million years ago.
The history of the formation of these rocks can be found in D. Spearing's Roadside Geology of Louisiana; the youngest parts of the state were formed during the last 12,000 years as successive deltas of the Mississippi River: the Maringouin, Teche, St. Bernard, the modern Mississippi, now the Atchafalaya; the sediments were carried from north to south by the Mississippi River. In between the Tertiary rocks of the north, the new sediments along the coast, is a vast belt known as the Pleistocene Terraces, their age and distribution can be related to the rise and fall of sea levels during past ice ages. In general, the northern terraces have had sufficient time for rivers to cut deep channels, while the newer terraces tend to be much flatter. Salt domes are found in Louisiana, their origin can be traced back to the early Gulf of Mexico, when the shallow ocean had high rates of evaporation. There are several hundred salt domes in the state. Salt domes are important not only as a source of salt. Louisiana is bordered to the west by Texas.
The state may properly be divided into two parts, the uplands of the north, the alluvial along the coast. The alluvial region includes low swamp lands, coastal marshlands and beaches, barrier islands that cover about 20,000 square miles; this area lies principally along the Gulf of Mexico and the Mississippi River, which traverses the state from north to south for a distance of about 600 mi ) and empties into the Gulf of Mexico. The breadth of the alluvial region along the Mississippi is from 10 to 60 miles, along the other rivers, the alluvial region averages about 10 miles across; the Mississippi River flows along a ridge formed by its own natural deposits, from which the lands decline toward a river beyond at an average fall of six feet per mile. The alluvial lands along other streams present similar features; the higher and contiguous hill lands of the north and northwestern part of the state have an area of more than 25,000 square miles. They consist of prairie and woodl
South Charleston, West Virginia
South Charleston is a city in Kanawha County, West Virginia, United States The population was 13,450 at the 2010 census. South Charleston was established in 1906, but not incorporated until 1917; the city is serviced by Interstate 64, U. S. Route 60, U. S. Route 119, West Virginia Route 601 and West Virginia Route 214, is bisected by the Kanawha River; the city is serviced by the Kanawha Valley Regional Transportation Authority bus system. A general aviation airfield, Mallory Airport, is located off Chestnut Street two miles south of U. S. Route 60, with the nearest commercial aviation service being at Yeager Airport in Charleston. South Charleston serves as the headquarters to the West Virginia State Police. South Charleston is located at 38°21′9″N 81°42′43″W. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 8.51 square miles, of which, 7.61 square miles is land and 0.90 square miles is water. The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and mild to cool winters.
According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, South Charleston has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps. The median income for a household in the city was $37,905, the median income for a family was $50,528. Males had a median income of $39,036 versus $25,978 for females; the per capita income for the city was $24,928. About 9.7% of families and 12.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.4% of those under age 18 and 9.8% of those age 65 or over. As of the census of 2010, there were 13,450 people, 6,283 households, 3,675 families residing in the city; the population density was 1,767.4 inhabitants per square mile. There were 6,819 housing units at an average density of 896.1 per square mile. The racial makeup of the city was 86.9% White, 8.4% African American, 0.3% Native American, 1.1% Asian, 0.3% from other races, 3.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.0% of the population. There were 6,283 households of which 26.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.6% were married couples living together, 15.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.4% had a male householder with no wife present, 41.5% were non-families.
36.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.4% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.14 and the average family size was 2.77. The median age in the city was 42.3 years. 20.9% of residents were under the age of 18. The gender makeup of the city was 45.7% male and 54.3% female. In South Charleston are the headquarters of International Industries, the parent company of a group of subsidiaries founded in 1947 by James H. "Buck" Harless, based in natural resources such as coal and timber, but which include the manufacturing and real estate industries. There are six elementary schools in South Charleston: Montrose Elementary, Ruthlawn Elementary, Richmond Elementary, Alum Creek Elementary, Bridgeview Elementary, Weberwood Elementary; the main middle school is South Charleston Middle School, located on 3rd Ave. SCMS houses grades 6-8. South Charleston High School is one of eight high schools in Kanawha County. SCHS is located on Eagle Way and houses grades 9-12.
There are two colleges located in the city. A South Charleston campus for BridgeValley Community and Technical College is located at the former Dow Chemical research facility and the Marshall University – South Charleston Campus is a branch of Marshall University. South Charleston attractions include Criel Mound, the South Charleston Museum; the South Charleston Museum is located in the historic LaBelle Theater on D Street, features a West Virginia Film Series, Open Mic Night and other events. The city is home to a community center, an ice arena, Little Creek Park, Little Creek Country Club and Joplin Park; the Interpretive Center is located at 313 D street and features the Appalachian trail, the Mound, Indian artifacts, chemical history and artifacts, a Belgium display depicting the first business in South Charleston Blenko birthday pieces donated by Pearl Watson. Former NFL player Carl Lee was born and raised in South Charleston Country singer-songwriter Kathy Mattea was born in the city's Thomas Memorial Hospital to parents who lived in nearby Cross Lanes, where she grew up Thomas Memorial Hospital is named after Herbert J. Thomas, Jr. a World War II Medal of Honor recipient, raised in South Charleston Breece D'J Pancake, short-story writer, was born in South Charleston Alex Hawkins, SCHS graduate, NFL player and broadcaster, "Captain Who" author Larry Combs, inducted into the Music Hall of Fame, Chicago symphony SCHS class of 1957 City of South Charleston South Charleston Convention & Visitors Bureau
Natchez Trace Parkway
The Natchez Trace Parkway is a National Parkway in the southeastern United States that commemorates the historic Old Natchez Trace and preserves sections of the original trail. Its central feature is a two-lane parkway road that extends 444 miles from Natchez, Mississippi, to Nashville, Tennessee. Access to the parkway is limited, with more than fifty access points in the states of Mississippi and Tennessee; the southern end of the route is in Natchez at an intersection with Liberty Road, the northern end is northeast of Fairview, Tennessee, in the suburban community of Pasquo, Tennessee, at an intersection with Tennessee State Route 100. In addition to Natchez and Nashville, the larger cities along the route include Jackson and Tupelo and Florence, Alabama; the All-American Road is maintained by the National Park Service, to commemorate the original route of the Natchez Trace. The road has been designated an All-American Road. Commercial traffic is prohibited along the entire route, the speed limit is 50 miles per hour, except north of Leiper's Fork and Ridgeland, where the speed limit is reduced to 40 miles per hour.
The total area of the Parkway is 51,746.50 acres, of which 51,680.64 acres are federal, 65.86 acres are non-federal. The Parkway is headquartered in Tupelo and has nine district offices: Leipers Fork, Meriwether Lewis, Tupelo, Kosciusko, Port Gibson, Natchez; the Parkway manages two battlefields: Brice's Cross Roads National Battlefield Site and Tupelo National Battlefield. The gentle sloping and curving alignment of the current route follows the original foot passage, its design harkens back to the way the original interweaving trails aligned as an ancient salt-lick-to-grazing-pasture migratory route of the American bison and other game that moved between grazing the pastures of central and western Mississippi and the salt and other mineral surface deposits of the Cumberland Plateau. The route traverses the tops of the low hills and ridges of the watershed divides from northeast to southwest. Native Americans, following the "traces" of bison and other game, further improved this "walking trail" for foot-borne commerce between major villages located in central Mississippi and middle Tennessee.
The route is locally circuitous. Avoided was the danger to a herd of being caught en-masse at the bottom of a hollow or valley if attacked by predators; the nature of the route, to this day, affords good all-around visibility for those. At all times the road is on the high ground of the ridge dividing the watersheds and provides a view to either see or catch the scent of danger, from a distance great enough to afford the time to flee to safety, if necessary. By the time of European exploration and settlement, the route had become well known and established as the fastest means of communication between the Cumberland Plateau, the Mississippi River, the Gulf of Mexico settlements of Pensacola and New Orleans. In the early post-American Revolutionary War period of America's westward expansion, the Trace was the return route for American flat-boat commerce between the territories of the upper and lower Ohio and Cumberland River valleys; the Americans constructed flat-boats, loaded their commerce therein, drifted upon those rivers, one-way south-southwestward to New Orleans, Louisiana.
They would sell their goods, return home via the Trace, to as far away as Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Improved communications and the development of ports along the rivers named above made the route obsolete as a means of passenger and freight commerce; as a result, no major population centers were born or developed along the Trace, because of its alignment, between its termini Nashville and Natchez. The two cities of note, near or on the Trace's alignment, developed only as a result of their alignment along axes of communication different from the Trace, thus the Trace and its alignment are today entirely undeveloped and unspoiled along its whole route. Many sections of the original footpath are visible today for observing and hiking the Parkway's right-of-way. Construction of the Parkway was begun by the federal government in the 1930s; the development of the modern roadway was one of the many projects of the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression. The road was the proposal of U.
S. Congressman T. Jeff Busby of Mississippi, who proposed it as a way to give tribute to the original Natchez Trace. Inspired by the proposal, the Daughters of the American Revolution began planting markers and monuments along the Trace. In 1934, the Franklin Delano Roosevelt administration ordered a survey. President Roosevelt signed the legislation to create the parkway on May 18, 1938. Construction on the Parkway began in 1939, the route was to be overseen by the National Park Service, its length includes more than 45,000 acres and the towering Natchez Trace Parkway Bridge in Williamson County, completed in 1994 and one of only two post-tensioned, segmental concrete arch bridges in the world. The Emergency Appropriations Act of June 19, 1934, allocated initia
An effigy mound is a raised pile of earth built in the shape of a stylized animal, human, or other figure and containing one or more human burials. Effigy mounds were built during the Late Woodland Period. Conical and linear mounds, the predecessors of effigy mounds may date from as far back as 700 BCE, they remain places First Peoples frequent to visit and speak with ancestors, to put down tobacco and to give thanks. These sites are visited by Hochungra people whose ancestors built the great majority of them, though they are visited by people from other original indigenous nations such as Anishinaabe, Oneida, Menominii who reside in Wisconsin and surrounding areas. There remains the possibility that a greater diversity of First Peoples such as ancestors of those named nations may have contributed to building some percentage of the mounds; that is to say that ancestral Hochunk popularized the form and other groups may have adopted the practice of building effigy mounds from having observed the Hochunk ancestors methods and aesthetics surrounding their construction.
Scholars believe that effigy mounds were built for spiritual purposes, although most fulfilled a burial mound function. According to 2011 ground-penetrating radar and magnetometry studies surveying 586 mounds at 128 sites, 65% of linear mounds in Wisconsin contain evidence of burials, 89% of conical mounds contain evidence of burials, 87% of effigy mounds contain persistent evidence of burials. Older conical mound construction evolves into effigy mound construction over time. Given the expected rates of decay regarding burial evidence it is reasonable to project that all mounds in the conical-to-effigy mound spectrum, are burial or funerary earthworks; the builders of the effigy mounds are referred to as the Mound Builders. Native American societies in Wisconsin built more effigy mounds than did those in any other region of North America—between 15,000 and 20,000 mounds, at least 4,000 of which remain today. Many mounds on the University of Wisconsin grounds including burial mounds measuring as large as 35 feet in diameter and 5 feet high were removed for grading purposes as as 1909.
Native North American effigy mounds have been compared to the large-scale geoglyphs such as the Nazca Lines of Peru. Effigy mounds are limited to the Northern and Eastern United States, most the French were the first Europeans to see them in their expeditions southward from Canada after 1673. Early surveyors and settlers noticed and mapped many effigy mounds, but farming and other development erased numerous sites despite efforts to preserve them. After the "discovery" of effigy mounds, other mounds all over the country, wild theories began to be developed as to how and by whom they were built; the first theories were the most accurate. These logical assumptions lost; the most popular of these theories in the 19th century was that an extinct race of Mound Builder people had built the mounds and vanished. This theory was laid to rest by archaeologists at the Smithsonian Institution in the 1880s; the Ho-Chunk suggest. Some archaeologists today believe that the mounds were built by particular clans or groups to honor their representative animal.
Some believe that the animal shape is the clan or extended family of the person or person's buried in the mound. Others believe that the mounds were burial sites for everyday people, while still others believe that the depicted animal might be somehow responsible for transitioning the deceased into the next world; the mounds may indicate hunting and gathering territories of different groups. Other evidence suggests that effigy mounds were used for all manner of rites and ceremonies, from birth ceremonies to funeral rites. Common shapes for effigy mounds include birds, deer, lynx, panther and water spirits; these are somewhat arbitrary names given to the mound shapes by archaeologists who were looking for words that would help them classify the mounds. These shapes were most chosen for their particular religious or spiritual significance; the earliest mounds are'conical'. Successive conicals evolved into linear mounds. Bird mounds came next as modifying a linear mound to make a bird mound required only the addition of a head and a tail.
From there many different animal forms emerged. These expressed a kind of abstract elongation. In addition to the obvious elongation of tails and the abstracted nature of many of the shapes, colored silts and sand were used to decorate the mounds; the land was scraped or raked to move earth from surface soils towards a new mound and in doing so, artful colored sand and silt patterning was sometimes employed as adornment. In terms of positioning, some mounds may have had celestial alignments although with certainty bird mounds were placed in such a way as to suggest that they were flying up or down a hillside, animal mounds were placed so as to suggest animals walking along natural landform as well such as a ridge or hillside, it is possible that predominant wind patterns may have been taken into consideration when choosing locations and orientations for bird mounds. In addition bird mounds sometimes appear in different conformations where the wings of the bird may be folded or unfolded
West Virginia is a state located in the Appalachian region in the Southern United States, considered to be a part of the Middle Atlantic States. It is bordered by Pennsylvania to the north, Maryland to the east and northeast, Virginia to the southeast, Kentucky to the southwest, Ohio to the northwest. West Virginia is the 41st largest state by area, is ranked 38th in population; the capital and largest city is Charleston. West Virginia became a state following the Wheeling Conventions of 1861, after the American Civil War had begun. Delegates from some Unionist counties of northwestern Virginia decided to break away from Virginia, although they included many secessionist counties in the new state. West Virginia was admitted to the Union on June 20, 1863, was a key border state during the war. West Virginia was the only state to form by separating from a Confederate state, the first to separate from any state since Maine separated from Massachusetts, was one of two states admitted to the Union during the American Civil War.
While a portion of its residents held slaves, most of the residents were yeomen farmers, the delegates provided for gradual abolition of slavery in the new state Constitution. The Census Bureau and the Association of American Geographers classify West Virginia as part of the Southern United States; however the Bureau of Labor Statistics classifies West Virginia as a part of the Mid-Atlantic. The northern panhandle extends adjacent to Pennsylvania and Ohio, with the West Virginia cities of Wheeling and Weirton just across the border from the Pittsburgh metropolitan area, while Bluefield is less than 70 miles from North Carolina. Huntington in the southwest is close to the states of Ohio and Kentucky, while Martinsburg and Harpers Ferry in the Eastern Panhandle region are considered part of the Washington metropolitan area, in between the states of Maryland and Virginia; the unique position of West Virginia means that it is included in several geographical regions, including the Mid-Atlantic, the Upland South, the Southeastern United States.
It is the only state, within the area served by the Appalachian Regional Commission. The state is noted for its mountains and rolling hills, its significant logging and coal mining industries, its political and labor history, it is known for a wide range of outdoor recreational opportunities, including skiing, whitewater rafting, hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, hunting. Many ancient man-made earthen mounds from various prehistoric mound builder cultures survive in the areas of present-day Moundsville, South Charleston, Romney; the artifacts uncovered in these give evidence of village societies. They had a tribal trade system culture. In the 1670s during the Beaver Wars, the powerful Iroquois, five allied nations based in present-day New York and Pennsylvania, drove out other American Indian tribes from the region in order to reserve the upper Ohio Valley as a hunting ground. Siouan language tribes, such as the Moneton, had been recorded in the area. A century the area now identified as West Virginia was contested territory among Anglo-Americans as well, with the colonies of Pennsylvania and Virginia claiming territorial rights under their colonial charters to this area before the American Revolutionary War.
Some speculative land companies, such as the Vandalia Company, the Ohio Company and Indiana Company, tried to legitimize their claims to land in parts of West Virginia and present day Kentucky, but failed. This rivalry resulted in some settlers petitioning the Continental Congress to create a new territory called Westsylvania. With the federal settlement of the Pennsylvania and Virginia border dispute, creating Kentucky County, Kentuckians "were satisfied, the inhabitants of a large part of West Virginia were grateful."The Crown considered the area of West Virginia to be part of the British Virginia Colony from 1607 to 1776. The United States considered this area to be the western part of the state of Virginia from 1776 to 1863, before the formation of West Virginia, its residents were discontented for years with their position in Virginia, as the government was dominated by the planter elite of the Tidewater and Piedmont areas. The legislature had electoral malapportionment, based on the counting of slaves toward regional populations, the western white residents were underrepresented in the state legislature.
More subsistence and yeoman farmers lived in the west and they were less supportive of slavery, although many counties were divided on their support. The residents of this area became more divided after the planter elite of eastern Virginia voted to secede from the Union during the Civil War. Residents of the western and northern counties set up a separate government under Francis Pierpont in 1861, which they called the Restored Government. Most voted to separate from Virginia, the new state was admitted to the Union in 1863. In 1864 a state constitutional convention drafted a constitution, ratified by the legislature without putting it to popular vote. West Virginia abolished slavery by a gradual process and temporarily disenfranchised men who had held Confederate office or fought for the Confederacy. West Virginia's history has been profoundly affected by its mountainous terrain and vast river valleys, rich natural resources; these were all factors driving its economy and the lifestyles of its residents, who tended to live in many small isolated communities in the mountain valleys.
A 2010 analysis of
Coles Creek culture
Coles Creek culture is a Late Woodland archaeological culture in the Lower Mississippi valley in the southern United States. It followed the Troyville culture; the period marks a significant change in the cultural history of the area. Population increased and there is strong evidence of a growing cultural and political complexity by the end of the Coles Creek sequence. Although many of the classic traits of chiefdom societies are not yet manifested, by 1000 CE the formation of simple elite polities had begun. Coles Creek sites are found in Arkansas and Mississippi, it is considered ancestral to the Plaquemine culture. The Coles Creek culture is an indigenous development of the Lower Mississippi Valley that took place between the terminal Woodland period and the Plaquemine culture period; the period is marked by the increased use of flat-topped platform mounds arranged around central plazas, more complex political institutions, a subsistence strategy still grounded in the Eastern Agricultural Complex and hunting rather than on the maize plant as would happen in the succeeding Plaquemine Mississippian period.
The culture was defined by the unique decoration on grog-tempered ceramic ware by James A. Ford after his investigations at the Mazique Archeological Site, he had studied both the Mazique and Coles Creek Sites, went with the Mazique culture, but decided on the less involved sites name. The Coles Creak area is further subdivided into Coles Creek proper in the northern part of its range throughout the interior Mississippi Valley, Coastal Coles Creek, being found along the Gulf coast south of the latitude of modern Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Although earlier cultures built mounds as a part of mortuary customs, by the Coles Creek period these mounds took on a newer shape and function. Instead of being for burial, mounds were constructed to support temples and other civic structures. Pyramidal mounds with flat tops and ramps were constructed over successive years and with many layers. A temple or other structures of wattle and daub construction, would be built on the summit of the mound. A typical Coles Creek site plan consisted of at least two, more three, mounds around a central plaza.
This pattern emerged in 800 CE and continued for several hundred years. By late Coles Creek times, the site plans are enlarged to include up to three more mounds. Sites typical of this period are Mount Nebo, Holly Bluff, Kings Crossing, Lake Agnes. Many Coles Creek mounds were erected over earlier mortuary mounds, leading researchers to speculate that emerging elites were symbolically and physically appropriating dead ancestors to emphasize and project their own authority. Long-distance trade seems to have been negligible at this time, as exotic goods and trade items are rare in Coles Creek sites. There is little evidence of domesticated or cultivated plants until the end of the Coles Creek period. Acorns are a dominant food source, supplemented with persimmons and some starchy seeds such as maygrass. Coles Creek populations may have loosely "managed" certain plant resources in order to promote a better or more consistent food supply. Maize is found in limited quantities, but by 1000-1200 CE had begun to increase, although nowhere near the levels it would reach in Mississippian culture times.
The bow and arrow was introduced in this period. Pottery styles changed during this period, as people began to create more durable wares with more diversified uses. Wet clay was tempered with particles of dry clay to prevent cracking during firing. Most pots were decorated only on the upper half with designs of incised lines or impressed tool marks. Colors ranged from tan, black and gray, although the rare red example is known; the rare effigy pot is found. Plum Bayou culture Culture and chronological table for the Mississippi Valley Hudson, Charles M. Knights of Spain, Warriors of the Sun: Hernando De Soto and the South's Ancient Chiefdoms, University of Georgia Press, 1997. ISBN 0-8203-1888-4 R. Barry Lewis and Charles Stout, editors. "Mississippian Towns and Sacred Spaces", University of Alabama Press, 1998. ISBN 0-8173-0947-0 Southeastern Prehistory - Late Woodland Period