The Smithsonian Institution, founded on August 10, 1846 "for the increase and diffusion of knowledge," is a group of museums and research centers administered by the Government of the United States. The institution is named after British scientist James Smithson. Organized as the "United States National Museum," that name ceased to exist as an administrative entity in 1967. Termed "the nation's attic" for its eclectic holdings of 154 million items, the Institution's nineteen museums, nine research centers, zoo include historical and architectural landmarks located in the District of Columbia. Additional facilities are located in Arizona, Massachusetts, New York City, Texas and Panama. More than 200 institutions and museums in 45 states, Puerto Rico, Panama are Smithsonian Affiliates; the Institution's thirty million annual visitors are admitted without charge. Its annual budget is around $1.2 billion with two-thirds coming from annual federal appropriations. Other funding comes from the Institution's endowment and corporate contributions, membership dues, earned retail and licensing revenue.
Institution publications include Air & Space magazines. The British scientist James Smithson left most of his wealth to his nephew Henry James Hungerford; when Hungerford died childless in 1835, the estate passed "to the United States of America, to found at Washington, under the name of the Smithsonian Institution, an Establishment for the increase & diffusion of knowledge among men", in accordance with Smithson's will. Congress accepted the legacy bequeathed to the nation, pledged the faith of the United States to the charitable trust on July 1, 1836; the American diplomat Richard Rush was dispatched to England by President Andrew Jackson to collect the bequest. Rush returned in August 1838 with 105 sacks containing 104,960 gold sovereigns. Once the money was in hand, eight years of Congressional haggling ensued over how to interpret Smithson's rather vague mandate "for the increase and diffusion of knowledge." The money was invested by the US Treasury in bonds issued by the state of Arkansas, which soon defaulted.
After heated debate, Massachusetts Representative John Quincy Adams persuaded Congress to restore the lost funds with interest and, despite designs on the money for other purposes, convinced his colleagues to preserve it for an institution of science and learning. On August 10, 1846, President James K. Polk signed the legislation that established the Smithsonian Institution as a trust instrumentality of the United States, to be administered by a Board of Regents and a Secretary of the Smithsonian. Though the Smithsonian's first Secretary, Joseph Henry, wanted the Institution to be a center for scientific research, it became the depository for various Washington and U. S. government collections. The United States Exploring Expedition by the U. S. Navy circumnavigated the globe between 1838 and 1842; the voyage amassed thousands of animal specimens, an herbarium of 50,000 plant specimens, diverse shells and minerals, tropical birds, jars of seawater, ethnographic artifacts from the South Pacific Ocean.
These specimens and artifacts became part of the Smithsonian collections, as did those collected by several military and civilian surveys of the American West, including the Mexican Boundary Survey and Pacific Railroad Surveys, which assembled many Native American artifacts and natural history specimens. In 1846, the regents developed a plan for weather observation; the Institution became a magnet for young scientists from 1857 to 1866, who formed a group called the Megatherium Club. The Smithsonian played a critical role as the U. S. partner institution in early bilateral scientific exchanges with the Academy of Sciences of Cuba. Construction began on the Smithsonian Institution Building in 1849. Designed by architect James Renwick Jr. its interiors were completed by general contractor Gilbert Cameron. The building opened in 1855; the Smithsonian's first expansion came with construction of the Arts and Industries Building in 1881. Congress had promised to build a new structure for the museum if the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Exposition generated enough income.
It did, the building was designed by architects Adolf Cluss and Paul Schulze, based on original plans developed by Major General Montgomery C. Meigs of the United States Army Corps of Engineers, it opened in 1881. The National Zoological Park opened in 1889 to accommodate the Smithsonian's Department of Living Animals; the park was designed by landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted. The National Museum of Natural History opened in June 1911 to accommodate the Smithsonian's United States National Museum, housed in the Castle and the Arts and Industries Building; this structure was designed by the D. C. architectural firm of Hornblower & Marshall. When Detroit philanthropist Charles Lang Freer donated his private collection to the Smithsonian and funds to build the museum to hold it, it was among the Smithsonian's first major donations from a private individual; the gallery opened in 1923. More than 40 years would pass before the next museum, the Museum of History and Technology, opened in 1964.
It was designed by the world-renowned firm of Mead & White. The Anacostia Community Museum, an "experimental store-front" museum created at the initiative of Smithsonian Secretary S. Dillon Ripley, opened in the Anacostia neighborhood of
Blue Ridge Mountains
The Blue Ridge Mountains are a physiographic province of the larger Appalachian Mountains range. The mountain range is located in the eastern United States, extends 550 miles southwest from southern Pennsylvania through Maryland, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia; this province consists of northern and southern physiographic regions, which divide near the Roanoke River gap. To the west of the Blue Ridge, between it and the bulk of the Appalachians, lies the Great Appalachian Valley, bordered on the west by the Ridge and Valley province of the Appalachian range; the Blue Ridge Mountains are noted for having a bluish color. Trees put the "blue" in Blue Ridge, from the isoprene released into the atmosphere, thereby contributing to the characteristic haze on the mountains and their distinctive color. Within the Blue Ridge province are two major national parks – the Shenandoah National Park in the northern section, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the southern section – and eight national forests including George Washington and Jefferson National Forests, Cherokee National Forest, Pisgah National Forest, Nantahala National Forest and Chattahoochee National Forest.
The Blue Ridge contains the Blue Ridge Parkway, a 469-mile long scenic highway that connects the two parks and is located along the ridge crest-lines with the Appalachian Trail. Although the term "Blue Ridge" is sometimes applied to the eastern edge or front range of the Appalachian Mountains, the geological definition of the Blue Ridge province extends westward to the Ridge and Valley area, encompassing the Great Smoky Mountains, the Great Balsams, the Roans, the Blacks, the Brushy Mountains and other mountain ranges; the Blue Ridge extends as far north into Pennsylvania as South Mountain. While South Mountain dwindles to mere hills between Gettysburg and Harrisburg, the band of ancient rocks that form the core of the Blue Ridge continues northeast through the New Jersey and Hudson River highlands reaching The Berkshires of Massachusetts and the Green Mountains of Vermont; the Blue Ridge contains the highest mountains in eastern North America south of Baffin Island. About 125 peaks exceed 5,000 feet in elevation.
The highest peak in the Blue Ridge is Mt. Mitchell in North Carolina at 6,684 feet. There are 39 peaks in North Tennessee higher than 6,000 feet. Southern Sixers is a term used by peak baggers for this group of mountains; the Blue Ridge Parkway runs 469 miles along crests of the Southern Appalachians and links two national parks: Shenandoah and Great Smoky Mountains. In many places along the parkway, there are metamorphic rocks with folded bands of light-and dark-colored minerals, which sometimes look like the folds and swirls in a marble cake. Most of the rocks that form the Blue Ridge Mountains are ancient granitic charnockites, metamorphosed volcanic formations, sedimentary limestone. Recent studies completed by Richard Tollo, a professor and geologist at George Washington University, provide greater insight into the petrologic and geochronologic history of the Blue Ridge basement suites. Modern studies have found that the basement geology of the Blue Ridge is made of compositionally unique gneisses and granitoids, including orthopyroxene-bearing charockites.
Analysis of zircon minerals in the granite completed by John Aleinikoff at the U. S. Geological Survey has provided more detailed emplacement ages. Many of the features found in the Blue Ridge and documented by Tollo and others have confirmed that the rocks exhibit many similar features in other North American Grenville-age terranes; the lack of a calc-alkaline affinity and zircon ages less than 1,200 Ma suggest that the Blue Ridge is distinct from the Adirondacks, Green Mountains, the New York-New Jersey Highlands. The petrologic and geochronologic data suggest that the Blue Ridge basement is a composite orogenic crust, emplaced during several episodes from a crustal magma source. Field relationships further illustrate that rocks emplaced prior to 1,078–1,064 Ma preserve deformational features; those emplaced post-1,064 Ma have a massive texture and missed the main episode of Mesoproterozoic compression. The Blue Ridge Mountains began forming during the Silurian Period over 400 million years ago.
320 Mya, North America, Europe collided, pushing up the Blue Ridge. At the time of their emergence, the Blue Ridge were among the highest mountains in the world and reached heights comparable to the much younger Alps. Today, due to weathering and erosion over hundreds of millions of years, the highest peak in the range, Mount Mitchell in North Carolina, is only 6,684 feet high – still the highest peak east of the Rockies; the English who settled colonial Virginia in the early 17th century recorded that the native Powhatan name for the Blue Ridge was Quirank. At the foot of the Blue Ridge, various tribes including the Siouan Manahoacs, the Iroquois, the Shawnee hunted and fished. A German physician-explorer, John Lederer, first reached the crest of the Blue Ridge in 1669 and again the following year. At the Treaty of Albany negotiated by Lieutenant Governor Alexander Spotswood, of Virginia with the Iroquois between 1718 and 1722, the Iroquois ceded lands they had conquered south of the Potomac River and east of the Blue Ridge to the Virginia Colony.
This treaty made the Blue Ridge the new demarcation point between the areas and tribes subject to the Six Nati
Piedmont (United States)
The Piedmont is a plateau region located in the Eastern United States. It sits between the Atlantic coastal plain and the main Appalachian Mountains, stretching from New Jersey in the north to central Alabama in the south; the Piedmont Province is a physiographic province of the larger Appalachian division which consists of the Gettysburg-Newark Lowlands, the Piedmont Upland and the Piedmont Lowlands sections. The Atlantic Seaboard fall line marks the Piedmont's eastern boundary with the Coastal Plain. To the west, it is bounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains, the easternmost range of the main Appalachians; the width of the Piedmont varies, being quite narrow above the Delaware River but nearly 300 miles wide in North Carolina. The Piedmont's area is 80,000 square miles; the name "Piedmont" comes from the French term for the same physical region meaning "foothill" from Latin "pedemontium", meaning "at the foot of the mountains", similar to the name of the Italian region of Piedmont, abutting the Alps.
The surface relief of the Piedmont is characterized by low, rolling hills with heights above sea level between 200 feet and 800 feet to 1,000 feet. Its geology is complex, with numerous rock formations of different materials and ages intermingled with one another; the Piedmont is the remnant of several ancient mountain chains that have since been eroded away. Geologists have identified at least five separate events which have led to sediment deposition, including the Grenville orogeny and the Appalachian orogeny during the formation of Pangaea; the last major event in the history of the Piedmont was the break-up of Pangaea, when North America and Africa began to separate. Large basins formed from the rifting and were subsequently filled by the sediments shed from the surrounding higher ground; the series of Mesozoic basins is entirely located inside the Piedmont region. Piedmont soils are clay-like and moderately fertile. In some areas they have suffered from erosion and over-cropping in the South where cotton was the chief crop.
In the central Piedmont region of North Carolina and Virginia, tobacco is the main crop, while in the north region there is more diversity, including orchards and general farming. The portion of the Piedmont region in the southern United States, is associated with the Piedmont blues, a style of blues music that originated there in the late 19th century. According to the Piedmont Blues Preservation Society, most Piedmont blues musicians came from Virginia, the Carolinas, Georgia. During the Great Migration, African Americans migrated to the Piedmont. With the Appalachian Mountains to the west, those who might otherwise have spread into rural areas stayed in cities and were thus exposed to a broader mixture of music than those in, for example, the rural Mississippi delta. Thus, Piedmont blues was influenced by many types of music such as ragtime and popular songs—styles that had comparatively less influence on blues music in other regions. Many major cities are located on the Atlantic Seaboard fall line, the eastern boundary of the Piedmont.
The fall line, where the land rises abruptly from the coastal plain, marks the limit of navigability on many major rivers, so inland ports sprang up along it. Within the Piedmont region itself, there are several areas of urban concentration, the largest being the Philadelphia metropolitan area in Pennsylvania; the Piedmont cuts Maryland in half. In Virginia, the Greater Richmond metropolitan area is the largest urban concentration. In North Carolina, the Piedmont Crescent includes several metropolitan clusters such as Charlotte metropolitan area, the Piedmont Triad, the Research Triangle. Other notable areas include the Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson, SC Combined Statistical Area in South Carolina, in Georgia, the Atlanta metropolitan area. Cecil Piedmont Atlantic Piedmont region of Virginia Interstate 85 Godfrey, Michael A.. Field Guide to the Piedmont. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. ISBN 0-8078-4671-6. Hilton Pond Center for Piedmont Natural History "Piedmont Plain". New International Encyclopedia.
The Appalachian Mountains called the Appalachians, are a system of mountains in eastern North America. The Appalachians first formed 480 million years ago during the Ordovician Period, they once reached elevations similar to those of the Alps and the Rocky Mountains before experiencing natural erosion. The Appalachian chain is a barrier to east–west travel, as it forms a series of alternating ridgelines and valleys oriented in opposition to most highways and railroads running east–west. Definitions vary on the precise boundaries of the Appalachians; the United States Geological Survey defines the Appalachian Highlands physiographic division as consisting of thirteen provinces: the Atlantic Coast Uplands, Eastern Newfoundland Atlantic, Maritime Acadian Highlands, Maritime Plain, Notre Dame and Mégantic Mountains, Western Newfoundland Mountains, Blue Ridge and Ridge, Saint Lawrence Valley, Appalachian Plateaus, New England province, the Adirondack areas. A common variant definition does not include the Adirondack Mountains, which geologically belong to the Grenville Orogeny and have a different geological history from the rest of the Appalachians.
The mountain range is in the United States but it extends into southeastern Canada, forming a zone from 100 to 300 mi wide, running from the island of Newfoundland 1,500 mi southwestward to Central Alabama in the United States. The range covers parts of the islands of Saint Pierre and Miquelon, which comprise an overseas territory of France; the system is divided into a series of ranges, with the individual mountains averaging around 3,000 ft. The highest of the group is Mount Mitchell in North Carolina at 6,684 feet, the highest point in the United States east of the Mississippi River; the term Appalachian refers to several different regions associated with the mountain range. Most broadly, it refers to the entire mountain range with its surrounding hills and the dissected plateau region; the term is used more restrictively to refer to regions in the central and southern Appalachian Mountains including areas in the states of Kentucky, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, as well as sometimes extending as far south as northern Alabama and western South Carolina, as far north as Pennsylvania, southern Ohio, parts of southern upstate New York.
The Ouachita Mountains in Arkansas and Oklahoma were part of the Appalachians as well but became disconnected through geologic history. While exploring inland along the northern coast of Florida in 1528, the members of the Narváez expedition, including Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, found a Native American village near present-day Tallahassee, Florida whose name they transcribed as Apalchen or Apalachen; the name was soon altered by the Spanish to Apalachee and used as a name for the tribe and region spreading well inland to the north. Pánfilo de Narváez's expedition first entered Apalachee territory on June 15, 1528, applied the name. Now spelled "Appalachian," it is the fourth-oldest surviving European place-name in the US. After the de Soto expedition in 1540, Spanish cartographers began to apply the name of the tribe to the mountains themselves; the first cartographic appearance of Apalchen is on Diego Gutierrez's map of 1562. The name was not used for the whole mountain range until the late 19th century.
A competing and more popular name was the "Allegheny Mountains", "Alleghenies", "Alleghania". In the early 19th century, Washington Irving proposed renaming the United States either Appalachia or Alleghania. In U. S. dialects in the southern regions of the Appalachians, the word is pronounced, with the third syllable sounding like "latch". In northern parts of the mountain range, it is pronounced or. There is great debate between the residents of the regions as to which pronunciation is the more correct one. Elsewhere, a accepted pronunciation for the adjective Appalachian is, with the last two syllables "-ian" pronounced as in the word "Romanian"; the whole system may be divided into three great sections: Northern: The northern section runs from the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador to the Hudson River. It includes the Long Range Mountains and Annieopsquotch Mountains on the island of Newfoundland, Chic-Choc Mountains and Notre Dame Range in Quebec and New Brunswick, scattered elevations and small ranges elsewhere in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, the Longfellow Mountains in Maine, the White Mountains in New Hampshire, the Green Mountains in Vermont, The Berkshires in Massachusetts and Connecticut.
The Metacomet Ridge Mountains in Connecticut and south-central Massachusetts, although contained within the Appalachian province, is a younger system and not geologically associated with the Appalachians. The Monteregian Hills, which cross the Green Mountains in Quebec, are unassociated with the Appalachians. Central: The central section goes from the Hudson Valley to the New River running through Virginia and West Virginia, it comprises the Valley Ridges between the Allegheny Front of the Allegheny Plateau and the Great Appalachian Valley, the New York–New Jersey Highlands, the Taconic Mountains in New York, a large portion of the Blue Ridge. Southern: The southern section runs from the New River onwards, it consists of the prolongation of the Blue Ridge, divided into the Western Blue Ridge Front and the Eastern Blue Ridge Front, the Ridge-and-Valley Appalachians, the Cumberland Plateau. The Adirondack Mountains in New Y
The Iroquois or Haudenosaunee are a powerful northeast Native American confederacy. They were known during the colonial years to the French as the Iroquois League, as the Iroquois Confederacy, to the English as the Five Nations, comprising the Mohawk, Oneida and Seneca. After 1722, they accepted the Tuscarora people from the Southeast into their confederacy and became known as the Six Nations; the Iroquois have absorbed many other peoples into their tribes as a result of warfare, adoption of captives, by offering shelter to displaced peoples. Culturally, all are considered members of the clans and tribes into which they are adopted by families; the historic St. Lawrence Iroquoians, Wyandot and Susquehannock, all independent peoples spoke Iroquoian languages. In the larger sense of linguistic families, they are considered Iroquoian peoples because of their similar languages and cultures, all descended from the Proto-Iroquoian people and language. In addition, Cherokee is an Iroquoian language: the Cherokee people are believed to have migrated south from the Great Lakes in ancient times, settling in the backcountry of the Southeast United States, including what is now Tennessee.
In 2010, more than 45,000 enrolled Six Nations people lived in Canada, about 80,000 in the United States. The most common name for the confederacy, Iroquois, is of somewhat obscure origin; the first time it appears in writing is in the account of Samuel de Champlain of his journey to Tadoussac in 1603, where it occurs as "Irocois". Other spellings appearing in the earliest sources include "Erocoise", "Hiroquois", "Hyroquoise", "Irecoies", "Iriquois", "Iroquaes", "Irroquois", "Yroquois", as the French transliterated the term into their own phonetic system. In the French spoken at the time, this would have been pronounced as or. Over the years, several competing theories have been proposed for this name's ultimate origin, the earliest by the Jesuit priest Pierre François Xavier de Charlevoix, who wrote in 1744: The name Iroquois is purely French, is formed from the term Hiro or Hero, which means I have said—with which these Indians close all their addresses, as the Latins did of old with their dixi—and of Koué, a cry sometimes of sadness, when it is prolonged, sometimes of joy, when it is pronounced shorter.
In 1883, Horatio Hale wrote that Charlevoix's etymology was dubious, that "no other nation or tribe of which we have any knowledge has borne a name composed in this whimsical fashion". Hale suggested instead that the term came from Huron, was cognate with Mohawk ierokwa "they who smoke" or Cayuga iakwai "a bear". In 1888, J. N. B. Hewitt expressed doubts, his preferred the etymology from Montagnais irin "true, real" and ako "snake", plus the French -ois suffix, though he revised this to Algonquin Iriⁿakhoiw. A more modern etymology was advocated by Gordon M. Day in 1968, elaborating upon Charles Arnaud from 1880. Arnaud had claimed that the word came from Montagnais irnokué, meaning "terrible man", via the reduced form irokue. Day proposed a hypothetical Montagnais phrase irno kwédač, meaning "a man, an Iroquois", as the origin of this term. For the first element irno, Day cites cognates from other attested Montagnais dialects: irinou, iriniȣ, ilnu. However, none of these etymologies gained widespread acceptance.
By 1978 Ives Goddard could write: "No such form is attested in any Indian language as a name for any Iroquoian group, the ultimate origin and meaning of the name are unknown."More Peter Bakker has proposed a Basque origin for "Iroquois". Basque fishermen and whalers are known to have frequented the waters of the Northeast in the 1500s, so much so that a Basque-based pidgin developed for communication with the Algonquian tribes of the region. Bakker claims that it is unlikely that "-quois" derives from a root used to refer to the Iroquois, citing as evidence that several other Indian tribes of the region were known to the French by names terminating in the same element, e.g. "Armouchiquois", "Charioquois", "Excomminquois", "Souriquois". He proposes instead that the word derives from hilokoa, from the Basque roots hil "to kill", ko, a. In favor of an original form beginning with /h/, Bakker cites alternate spellings such as "hyroquois" sometimes found in documents from the period, the fact that in the Southern dialect of Basque, the word hil is pronounced il.
He argues that the /l/ was rendered as /r/ since the former is not attested in the phonemic inventory of any language in the region. Thus the word according to Bakker is translatable as "the killer people", it is similar to other terms used by Eastern Algonquian tribes to refer to their enemy the Iroquois, which translate as "murderers". The Five Nations referred to themselves by the autonym, meaning "People of the Longhouse"; this name is preferred by scholars of Native American history, who consider the name "Iroquois" derogatory. The name derives from two phonetically similar but etymologically distinct words in the Seneca language: Hodínöhšö:ni:h, meaning "those of the extended house," and Hodínöhsö:ni:h, meaning "house builders"; the name "Haudenosaunee" first appears in English in Lewis Henry Morga
Maize known as corn, is a cereal grain first domesticated by indigenous peoples in southern Mexico about 10,000 years ago. The leafy stalk of the plant produces pollen inflorescences and separate ovuliferous inflorescences called ears that yield kernels or seeds, which are fruits. Maize has become a staple food in many parts of the world, with the total production of maize surpassing that of wheat or rice. However, little of this maize is consumed directly by humans: most is used for corn ethanol, animal feed and other maize products, such as corn starch and corn syrup; the six major types of maize are dent corn, flint corn, pod corn, flour corn, sweet corn. Maize is the most grown grain crop throughout the Americas, with 361 million metric tons grown in the United States in 2014. 40% of the crop—130 million tons—is used for corn ethanol. Genetically modified maize made up 85% of the maize planted in the United States in 2009. Sugar-rich varieties called sweet corn are grown for human consumption as kernels, while field corn varieties are used for animal feed, various corn-based human food uses, as chemical feedstocks.
Maize is used in making ethanol and other biofuels. Most historians believe. Recent research in the early 21st century has modified this view somewhat. An influential 2002 study by Matsuoka et al. has demonstrated that, rather than the multiple independent domestications model, all maize arose from a single domestication in southern Mexico about 9,000 years ago. The study demonstrated that the oldest surviving maize types are those of the Mexican highlands. Maize spread from this region over the Americas along two major paths; this is consistent with a model based on the archaeological record suggesting that maize diversified in the highlands of Mexico before spreading to the lowlands. Archaeologist Dolores Piperno has said: A large corpus of data indicates that it was dispersed into lower Central America by 7600 BP and had moved into the inter-Andean valleys of Colombia between 7000 and 6000 BP. Since even earlier dates have been published. According to a genetic study by Embrapa, corn cultivation was introduced in South America from Mexico, in two great waves: the first, more than 6000 years ago, spread through the Andes.
Evidence of cultivation in Peru has been found dating to about 6700 years ago. The second wave, about 2000 years ago, through the lowlands of South America. Before domestication, maize plants grew only small, 25 millimetres long corn cobs, only one per plant. In Spielvogel's view, many centuries of artificial selection by the indigenous people of the Americas resulted in the development of maize plants capable of growing several cobs per plant, which were several centimetres/inches long each; the Olmec and Maya cultivated maize in numerous varieties throughout Mesoamerica. It was believed. Research of the 21st century has established earlier dates; the region developed a trade network based on surplus and varieties of maize crops. Mapuches of south-central Chile cultivated maize along with quinoa and potatoes in Pre-Hispanic times, however potato was the staple food of most Mapuches, "specially in the southern and coastal territories where maize did not reach maturity". Before the expansion of the Inca Empire maize was traded and transported as far south as 40°19' S in Melinquina, Lácar Department.
In that location maize remains were found inside pottery dated to 730 ±80 BP and 920 ±60 BP. This maize was brought across the Andes from Chile; the presence of maize in Guaitecas Archipelago, which constitute southernmost outspost of Pre-Hispanic agriculture, is reported by early Spanish explorers. However the Spanish may have misidentified the plant. After the arrival of Europeans in 1492, Spanish settlers consumed maize and explorers and traders carried it back to Europe and introduced it to other countries. Spanish settlers far preferred wheat bread to cassava, or potatoes. Maize flour could not be substituted for wheat for communion bread, since in Christian belief only wheat could undergo transubstantiation and be transformed into the body of Christ; some Spaniards worried that by eating indigenous foods, which they did not consider nutritious, they would weaken and risk turning into Indians. "In the view of Europeans, it was the food they ate more than the environment in which they lived, that gave Amerindians and Spaniards both their distinctive physical characteristics and their characteristic personalities."
Despite these worries, Spaniards did consume maize. Archeological evidence from Florida sites indicate. Maize spread to the rest of the world because of its ability to grow in diverse climates, it was cultivated in Spain just a few decades after Columbus's voyages and spread to Italy, West Africa and elsewhere. The word maize derives from the Spanish form of the indigenous Taíno word for mahiz, it is known by other names around the world. The word "corn" outside North America and New Zealand refers to any cereal crop, its meaning understood to vary geographically to refer to the local staple. In the United Stat
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