The Plaquemine culture was an archaeological culture centered on the Lower Mississippi River valley. It had a deep history in the area stretching back through the earlier Coles Creek and Troyville cultures to the Marksville culture; the Natchez and related Taensa peoples were their historic period descendants. The type site for the culture is the Medora Site in Louisiana; the Plaquemine culture was a Mississippian culture variant centered on the Mississippi River valley, stretching from the Gulf of Mexico to just south of its junction with the Arkansas River, encompassing the Yazoo River basin and Natchez Bluffs in western Mississippi, the lower Ouachita and Red River valleys in southeastern Arkansas, eastern Louisiana. They were agriculturists who grew maize, squash and tobacco but they hunted and gathered wild plants; the Medora Site in West Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana is the type site for the period, defined by Dr. James A. Ford and George I. Quimby after excavations at the site in the late 1930s and early 1940s.
The name for the culture is taken from the proximity of Medora to the nearby town of Plaquemine. It was inhabited from 1300 to 1600 CE and it consisted of two platform mounds separated by a plaza. Pottery from the site was overwhelmingly grog tempered with only a few bits of shell tempered pottery being found; these cultural hallmarks along with the implementation of intensive maize agriculture have become Plaquemine culture designators. Plaquemine was an outgrowth of the earlier Coles Creek culture, they experienced significant contact with Mississippian culture peoples to their north and east and the Terminal Coles Creek/early Plaquemine period was contemporaneous with the height of the Middle Mississippian culture at Cahokia in the American Bottom near St. Louis, Missouri. After Cahokias collapse in the mid 14th century they coexisted with Late Mississippian groups centered on eastern Arkansas near Memphis. Archaeologists debate whether Plaquemine is a local development or if the changes in their society that led from Coles Creek to Plaquemine was a result of contact with their Mississippian neighbors.
Many of these Coles Creek sites continued use by their Plaquemine descendants, Plaquemine sites were still being used in the early 1700s during the early historic period. The Plaquemine period saw the re-purposing and expansion of sites occupied during the Coles Creek period. Unlike Mississippian settlements which were large nucleated villages, Plaquemine settlements were barely populated ceremonial civic centers whose only permanent residents were the elites and their families and their attendants and servants. Everyone else lived in small hamlets and farmsteads dispersed across the landscape. Coupled with the adoption of maize agriculture during this period was a population explosion and an increase in the number and size of the sites; the ethnographic record from the historic period suggests some large sites such as Winterville or Emerald were the centers of paramount chiefdoms who exerted control over other smaller civic sites. These second tier rulers, part of a hereditary nobility, would have been related matrilineally to the ruling paramount chief.
An inherently volatile system, sometimes factions in smaller centers attained supremacy and power would shift from one civic center to another, resulting in the partial or total abandonment of the former capital. Beginning during the Terminal Coles Creek period, Mississippian cultures far upstream from the Plaquemine area began expanding their reach southward. Excavations in the Yazoo Basin area of Mississippi have shown a Cahokia Horizon as extra-regional exotic goods, such as Cahokian pottery and other artifacts, began to be deposited in Coles Creek-Plaquemine culture sites. Through repeated contacts, groups in Mississippi and Louisiana began adopting Mississippian techniques for making pottery, as well as ceremonial objects and social structuring. By the mid 15th century influences from Pensacola culture peoples had begun spreading westward across Barataria Bay and the Atchafalaya Basin and by 1700 had Mississipianized the local populations as far north as modern day Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Use of grog tempering for pottery at locations such as the Sims Site in southeastern Louisiana had been replaced by shell tempering. The Plaquemine peoples absorbed more Mississippian influence and the area of their distinct culture began to shrink after 1350 CE; the last enclave of purely Plaquemine culture was the southern Natchez Bluffs area, while the Yazoo Basin and Louisiana areas became a hybrid Plaquemine Mississippian culture. The earliest European account of the culture may be recorded in the journals of the Spanish expedition of Hernando de Soto. In 1542 de Soto's expedition encountered a powerful chiefdom located on the eastern bank of the Mississippi River. Native sources called it "Quigualtam", the name of the polity, its capital, its paramount chief. By this point the expedition had been traversing the southeast for several years and accounts of their deplorable treatment of the indigenous populations would have been known by groups they had yet to contact in person, their encounter with the polity was violent.
When the remnants of de Sotos expedition made it down the river past Quigualtam they encountered below it another unnamed but powerful chiefdom. Various scholars have debated the id
Glacial Kame Culture
The Glacial Kame Culture was a culture of Archaic people in North America that occupied southern Ontario, Michigan and Indiana from around 8000 BC to 1000 BC. The name of this culture derives from its members' practice of burying their dead atop glacier-deposited gravel hills. Among the most common types of artifacts found at Glacial Kame sites are shells of marine animals and goods manufactured from a copper ore, knows as float copper; the type site for Glacial Kame is the Ridgeway Site near the village of Ridgeway in Hardin County, Ohio. The site was discovered in 1856 by workers building a railroad line nearby, who mined the kame for ballast. Archaeologists specializing in Ohio became familiar with Glacial Kame sooner than with the state's other cultures. Other regional cultures include the Maple Creek Culture of southwestern Ohio, Red Ocher Culture and Old Copper Culture of Wisconsin. For a time, it was thought that the Glacial Kame Culture did not produce ceramics, but this understanding was disproven by the discovery of basic pottery at the Zimmerman Site near Roundhead, Ohio.
Excavation of Glacial Kame sites yields few projectile points — some of the most important sites have yielded no projectile points at all — and their few points that have been found are of diverse styles. For this reason, it appears that different groups of Glacial Kame peoples independently developed different methods of manufacturing their projectile points; this diversity appears in the culture's heartland in Champaign and Logan counties in western Ohio. Keller, Christine K. Glacial Kame sandal-sole shell gorgets: an exploration of manufacture, use and public exhibition. 2008. Indian Culture History of Ohio
Mogollon culture is an archaeological culture of Native American peoples from Southern New Mexico and Arizona, Northern Sonora and Chihuahua, Western Texas, a region known as Oasisamerica. The Mogollon culture is one of the major prehistoric Southwestern cultural divisions of the Southwestern United States and Northern Mexico; the culture flourished from the archaic period, c. 200 CE, to either 1450 or 1540 CE, when the Spanish arrived. The name Mogollon comes from the Mogollon Mountains, which were named after Don Juan Ignacio Flores Mogollón, Spanish Governor of New Spain from 1712 to 1715; the name was defined in 1936 by archaeologist Emil W. Haury; the distinct facets of Mogollon culture were recorded by Emil Haury, based on his excavations in 1931, 1933, 1934 at the Harris Village in Mimbres, New Mexico, the Mogollon Village on the upper San Francisco River in New Mexico Haury recognized differences between architecture and artifacts from these sites as compared with sites in the Hohokam archaeological culture area and the Ancestral Pueblo archaeological culture area.
Key differences included brown-paste, coil-and-scrape pottery excavated semi-subterranean pit-houses and different ceremonial architecture. Eight decades of subsequent research have confirmed Haury's initial findings. Today, the distinctiveness of the Mogollon pottery manufacture, architectural construction, ground-stone tool design and customs of residence location, mortuary treatment is recognized; the earliest Mogollon pithouses were deep and either oval-shaped. Over time, Mogollon people not as deep, their villages had kivas, or round, semi-subterranean ceremonial structures. Mogollon origins remain a matter of speculation. One model holds that the Mogollon emerged from a preceding Desert Archaic tradition that links Mogollon ancestry with the first prehistoric human occupations of the area. In this model, cultural distinctions emerged in the larger region when populations grew great enough to establish villages and larger communities. An alternative possibility holds that the Mogollon were descendants of early farmers who migrated from farming regions in central Mexico around 3500 BCE, who displaced descendants of the antecedent Desert Archaic peoples.
A third view is that at the time of the shift from hunting and gathering to agriculture the Cochise culture had been immigrants into the area about 5000 BCE, were not linked to the earlier inhabitants, but were receptive to cultural dissemination from the farmers of Central Mexico. The Mogollon were foragers who augmented their subsistence efforts by farming. Through the first millennium CE, dependence on farming increased. Water control features are common among Mimbres branch sites from the 10th through 12th centuries CE; the nature and density of Mogollon residential villages changed through time. The earliest Mogollon villages are small hamlets composed of several pithouses. Village sizes increased by the 11th century surface pueblos became common. Cliff-dwellings became common during 14th centuries. Research on Mogollon culture has led to the recognition of regional variants, of which the most recognized in popular media is the Mimbres culture. Others include the Jornada, Reserve, Point of Pines, San Simon, Upper Gila branches.
Although the Mimbres culture is the most well-known subset of the Mogollon archaeological culture-area, the entire Mogollon occupation spans a greater interval of time and a vastly larger area than is encompassed by the Mimbres culture. Mogollon culture is divided into five periods proposed by Joe Ben Wheat in 1955: Mogollon 1: Pine Lawn, Penasco, Circle Prairie, Hilltop phases Mogollon 2: San Lorenzo, Dos Cabezas, Circle Prairie, Cottonwood phases Mogollon 3: San Francisco, Galiuro and San Marcial phases Mogollon 4: Three Circle, Corduroy and Capitan phases Mogollon 5, including the Classic Mimbres phrase: Mangus, Encinas, Tularosa, Dona Anna, Three Rivers, El Paso, San Anders phases. An alternate way of viewing Mogollon culture is through three periods of housing types: Early Pithouse Late Pithouse Mogollon Pueblo. Archaeological sites attributed to the Mogollon culture are found in the Gila Wilderness, Mimbres River Valley, along the Upper Gila river and Hueco Tanks, an area of low mountains between the Franklin Mountains to the west and the Hueco Mountains to the east.
Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument in southwestern New Mexico was established as a National Monument on 16 November 1907. It contains several archaeological sites attributed to the Mimbres branch. At the headwaters of the Gila, Mimbres populations adjoined another more northern branch of the Mogollon culture; the TJ Ruin, for example, is a Classic Mimbres phase pueblo, however the cliff dwellings are Tularosa phase. The Hueco Tanks State Historic Site is 32 mi northeast of El Paso, Texas. Mimbres may, depending on its context, refer to a tradition within a subregion of the Mogollon culture area or to an interva
National Register of Historic Places
The National Register of Historic Places is the United States federal government's official list of districts, buildings and objects deemed worthy of preservation for their historical significance. A property listed in the National Register, or located within a National Register Historic District, may qualify for tax incentives derived from the total value of expenses incurred preserving the property; the passage of the National Historic Preservation Act in 1966 established the National Register and the process for adding properties to it. Of the more than one million properties on the National Register, 80,000 are listed individually; the remainder are contributing resources within historic districts. For most of its history the National Register has been administered by the National Park Service, an agency within the United States Department of the Interior, its goals are to help property owners and interest groups, such as the National Trust for Historic Preservation, coordinate and protect historic sites in the United States.
While National Register listings are symbolic, their recognition of significance provides some financial incentive to owners of listed properties. Protection of the property is not guaranteed. During the nomination process, the property is evaluated in terms of the four criteria for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places; the application of those criteria has been the subject of criticism by academics of history and preservation, as well as the public and politicians. Historic sites outside the country proper, but associated with the United States are listed. Properties can be nominated in a variety of forms, including individual properties, historic districts, multiple property submissions; the Register categorizes general listings into one of five types of properties: district, structure, building, or object. National Register Historic Districts are defined geographical areas consisting of contributing and non-contributing properties; some properties are added automatically to the National Register when they become administered by the National Park Service.
These include National Historic Landmarks, National Historic Sites, National Historical Parks, National Military Parks, National Memorials, some National Monuments. On October 15, 1966, the Historic Preservation Act created the National Register of Historic Places and the corresponding State Historic Preservation Offices; the National Register consisted of the National Historic Landmarks designated before the Register's creation, as well as any other historic sites in the National Park system. Approval of the act, amended in 1980 and 1992, represented the first time the United States had a broad-based historic preservation policy; the 1966 act required those agencies to work in conjunction with the SHPO and an independent federal agency, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, to confront adverse effects of federal activities on historic preservation. To administer the newly created National Register of Historic Places, the National Park Service of the U. S. Department of the Interior, with director George B.
Hartzog Jr. established an administrative division named the Office of Archeology and Historic Preservation. Hartzog charged OAHP with creating the National Register program mandated by the 1966 law. Ernest Connally was the Office's first director. Within OAHP new divisions were created to deal with the National Register; the division administered several existing programs, including the Historic Sites Survey and the Historic American Buildings Survey, as well as the new National Register and Historic Preservation Fund. The first official Keeper of the Register was an architectural historian. During the Register's earliest years in the late 1960s and early 1970s, organization was lax and SHPOs were small and underfunded. However, funds were still being supplied for the Historic Preservation Fund to provide matching grants-in-aid to listed property owners, first for house museums and institutional buildings, but for commercial structures as well. A few years in 1979, the NPS history programs affiliated with both the U.
S. National Parks system and the National Register were categorized formally into two "Assistant Directorates." Established were the Assistant Directorate for Archeology and Historic Preservation and the Assistant Directorate for Park Historic Preservation. From 1978 until 1981, the main agency for the National Register was the Heritage Conservation and Recreation Service of the United States Department of the Interior. In February 1983, the two assistant directorates were merged to promote efficiency and recognize the interdependency of their programs. Jerry L. Rogers was selected to direct this newly merged associate directorate, he was described as a skilled administrator, sensitive to the need for the NPS to work with SHPOs, local governments. Although not described in detail in the 1966 act, SHPOs became integral to the process of listing properties on the National Register; the 1980 amendments of the 1966 law further defined the responsibilities of SHPOs concerning the National Register.
Several 1992 amendments of the NHPA added a category to the National Register, known as Traditional Cultural Properties: those properties associated with Native American or Hawaiian groups
Wattle and daub
Wattle and daub is a composite building material used for making walls, in which a woven lattice of wooden strips called wattle is daubed with a sticky material made of some combination of wet soil, sand, animal dung and straw. Wattle and daub has been used for at least 6,000 years and is still an important construction material in many parts of the world. Many historic buildings include wattle and daub construction, the technique is becoming popular again in more developed areas as a low-impact sustainable building technique; the wattle is made by weaving thin slats between upright stakes. The wattle may be made as loose panels, slotted between timber framing to make infill panels, or made in place to form the whole of a wall. In different regions, the material of wattle can be different. For example, in Mitchell Site on the northern outskirts of the city of Mitchell, South Dakota, willow has been found as the wattle material of the walls of the house. Reeds and vines can be used as wattle material.
The origin of the term wattle describing a group of acacias in Australia, is derived from the common use of acacias as wattle in early Australian European settlements. Daub is created from a mixture of ingredients from three categories: binders and reinforcement. Binders hold the mix together and can include clay, chalk dust and limestone dust. Aggregates give the mix its bulk and dimensional stability through materials such as mud, crushed chalk and crushed stone. Reinforcement is provided by straw, hay or other fibrous materials, helps to hold the mix together as well as to control shrinkage and provide flexibility; the daub may be by treading -- either by humans or livestock. It is applied to the wattle and allowed to dry, then whitewashed to increase its resistance to rain. Sometimes there can be more than one layer of daub. Still in Mitchell Site, the anterior of the house had double layers of burned daub; this process has been replaced in modern architecture by lath and plaster, a common building material for wall and ceiling surfaces, in which a series of nailed wooden strips are covered with plaster smoothed into a flat surface.
In many regions this building method has itself been overtaken by drywall construction using plasterboard sheets The wattle and daub technique was used in the Neolithic period. It was common for houses of a Linear pottery and Rössen cultures of Central Europe, but is found in Western Asia as well as in North America and South America. In Africa it is common in the architecture of traditional houses such as those of the Ashanti people, its usage dates back at least 6000 years. There are suggestions that construction techniques such as lath and plaster and cob may have evolved from wattle and daub. Fragments from prehistoric wattle and daub buildings have been found in Africa, Europe and North America. A review of English architecture reveals that the sophistication of this craft is dependent on the various styles of timber frame housing; as discussed earlier, there were two popular choices for wattle and daub infill paneling: close-studded paneling and square paneling. Close-studding panels create a much more narrow space between the timbers: anywhere from 7 to 16 inches.
For this style of panel, weaving is too difficult, so the wattles run horizontally and are known as ledgers. The ledgers are sprung into each upright timber through a system of augered holes on one side and short chiseled grooves along the other; the holes are drilled at a slight angle towards the outer face of each stud. This allows room for upright hazels to be tied to ledgers from the inside of the building; the horizontal ledgers are placed every two to three feet with whole hazel rods positioned upright top to bottom and lashed to the ledgers. These hazel rods are tied a finger widths apart with 6–8 rods each with a 16-inch width. Gaps allow key formation for drying. Square panels are large, wide panels typical of some timber frame houses; these panels may be square in shape, or sometimes triangular to accommodate arched or decorative bracing. This style does require wattles to be woven for better support of the daub. To insert wattles in a square panel several steps are required. First, a series of evenly spaced holes are drilled along the middle of the inner face of each upper timber.
Next, a continuous groove is cut along the middle of each inner face of the lower timber in each panel. Vertical slender timbers, known as staves, are inserted and these hold the whole panel within the timber frame; the staves are positioned into the holes and sprung into the grooves. They must be placed with sufficient gaps to weave the flexible horizontal wattles. In some places or cultures, the technique of wattle and daub were used with different materials thus has different names, including pug and pine and stud, hourdis and dab, pierrotage/bousillage and columage. Bajarreque and jacal are examples of structure built with the technique of daub. In the early days of the colonisation of South Australia, in areas where substantial timber was unavailable, pioneers' cottages and other small buildings were constructed with light vertical timbers, which may have been "native pine", driven into the ground, the gaps being stopped with pug. Another term for this construction is pug. "Mud and stud" is a similar process to wattle and daub, with a simple frame consisting only of upright studs joined by cross r
The Pre-Columbian era incorporates all period subdivisions in the history and prehistory of the Americas before the appearance of significant European influences on the American continent, spanning the time of the original settlement in the Upper Paleolithic period to European colonization during the Early Modern period. While the phrase "pre-Columbian era" refers only to the time preceding Christopher Columbus's voyages of 1492, in practice the phrase is used to denote the entire history of indigenous Americas cultures until those cultures were exterminated, diminished, or extensively altered by Europeans if this happened decades or centuries after Columbus's first landing. For this reason the alternative terms of Precontact Americas, Pre-Colonial Americas or Prehistoric Americas are in use. In areas of Latin America the term used is Pre-Hispanic. Many pre-Columbian civilizations established hallmarks which included permanent settlements, agriculture and monumental architecture, major earthworks, complex societal hierarchies.
Some of these civilizations had long faded by the time of the first permanent European colonies and the arrival of enslaved Africans, are known only through archaeological investigations and oral history. Other civilizations were contemporary with the colonial period and were described in European historical accounts of the time. A few, such as the Maya civilization, had their own written records; because many Christian Europeans of the time viewed such texts as heretical, men like Diego de Landa destroyed many texts in pyres while seeking to preserve native histories. Only a few hidden documents have survived in their original languages, while others were transcribed or dictated into Spanish, giving modern historians glimpses of ancient culture and knowledge. Indigenous American cultures continue to evolve after the pre-Columbian era. Many of these peoples and their descendants continue traditional practices while evolving and adapting new cultural practices and technologies into their lives.
Before the development of archaeology in the 19th century, historians of the pre-Columbian period interpreted the records of the European conquerors and the accounts of early European travelers and antiquaries. It was not until the nineteenth century that the work of men such as John Lloyd Stephens, Eduard Seler and Alfred P. Maudslay, of institutions such as the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology of Harvard University, led to the reconsideration and criticism of the European sources. Now, the scholarly study of pre-Columbian cultures is most based on scientific and multidisciplinary methodologies. Asian nomads are thought to have entered the Americas via the Bering Land Bridge, now the Bering Strait and along the coast. Genetic evidence found in Amerindians' maternally inherited mitochondrial DNA supports the theory of multiple genetic populations migrating from Asia. Over the course of millennia, Paleo-Indians spread throughout South America; when the first group of people migrated into the Americas is the subject of much debate.
One of the earliest identifiable cultures was the Clovis culture, with sites dating from some 13,000 years ago. However, older sites dating back to 20,000 years ago have been claimed; some genetic studies estimate the colonization of the Americas dates from between 40,000 and 13,000 years ago. The chronology of migration models is divided into two general approaches; the first is the short chronology theory with the first movement beyond Alaska into the Americas occurring no earlier than 14,000–17,000 years ago, followed by successive waves of immigrants. The second belief is the long chronology theory, which proposes that the first group of people entered the hemisphere at a much earlier date 50,000–40,000 years ago or earlier. Artifacts have been found in both North and South America which have been dated to 14,000 years ago, accordingly humans have been proposed to have reached Cape Horn at the southern tip of South America by this time. In that case, the Eskimo peoples would have arrived separately and at a much date no more than 2,000 years ago, moving across the ice from Siberia into Alaska.
The North American climate was unstable. It stabilized by about 10,000 years ago. Within this time frame pertaining to the Archaic Period, numerous archaeological cultures have been identified; the unstable climate led to widespread migration, with early Paleo-Indians soon spreading throughout the Americas, diversifying into many hundreds of culturally distinct tribes. The Paleo-Indians were hunter-gatherers characterized by small, mobile bands consisting of 20 to 50 members of an extended family; these groups moved from place to place as preferred resources were depleted and new supplies were sought. During much of the Paleo-Indian period, bands are thought to have subsisted through hunting now-extinct giant land animals such as mastodon and ancient bison. Paleo-Indian groups carried a variety of tools; these included distinctive projectile points and knives, as well as less distinctive implements used for butchering and hide processing. The vastness of the North American continent, the variety of its climates, vegetation and landforms, led ancient peoples to coalesce into many distinct linguistic and cultural groups.
This is reflected in the oral histories of the indigenous peoples, described by a wide range of traditional creation stories which say that a given people have been living in a certain territory since the creation of the world. Over the course of thousands of years, paleo-Indian
St. Johns culture
The St. Johns culture was an archaeological culture in northeastern Florida, USA that lasted from about 500 BCE until shortly after European contact in the 17th century; the St. Johns culture was present along the St. Johns River and its tributaries (including the Oklawaha River, along the Atlantic coast of Florida from the mouth of the St. Johns River south to a point east of the head of the St. Johns River, near present-day Cocoa Beach, Florida. At the time of first European contact, the St. Johns culture area was inhabited by speakers of the Mocama, Agua Fresca and Acuera dialects of the Timucua language and by the Mayacas; the St. Johns culture is defined in terms of pottery styles. Plain chalky ware was the dominant St. Johns ceramic type. "Exotic" ceramic ware is common in ceremonial contexts. These "exotic" ceramics represent types from the Deptford, Belle Glade, Swift Creek, Weeden Island, Safety Harbor, Fort Walton cultures. There was a transitional area from the mouth of the St. Johns River extending into southeastern Georgia where St. Johns ware overlapped with Savannah ware, another transitional area, the Indian River region, where St. Johns ware overlapped with Belle Glade and Glades ware.
The St. Johns culture was based on the exploitation of fresh water resources. Villages and camps were located close to rivers, wetlands, coastal lagoons and estuaries. During the 2000 years of the St. Johns culture, large middens of shell and other debris, sometimes covering several acres and up to 25 feet high, accumulated throughout the region; some existing mounds extend for as long as a half-mile along the banks of the St. Johns River. While oyster and mussel shells dominate the middens, bones found in the middens indicate that catfish were a much larger component of the St. Johns people's diet than were shellfish; the St. Johns diet consisted of a wide variety of fish, reptiles and birds. Investigation of a site at Hontoon Island indicated that fresh water snails and turtles provided most of the meat consumed at the site, that those resources were exploited year-round. Plant foods included berries, cabbage palm and various small plants those growing in wetlands. Gourds were grown, but used as containers.
Maize cultivation reached the Timucua speakers of the St. Johns culture area around 750, although some authorities think the arrival was as late as 1050; the southernmost part of the St. Johns culture area had not acquired maize cultivation at the time of first European contact; the St. Johns peoples were not as dependent on maize cultivation as were most cultures in the southeastern United States, as suitable soil for sustainable maize production was scarce in the wetlands favored for habitation, abundant wetland resources were available year-round. Except along the western fringes of the region, the only stone resources available were soft coquina and sandstone, which were used for grinding and abrading tools. Tools and implements were more made of bone and shell, than of stone. Stone artifacts in the St. Johns culture are a mixture of styles preserved from the Archaic period with styles representative of neighboring cultures. Wooden artifacts that were preserved in water and wet soils have been found.
Purpose-built mounds of sand first appeared in the St. Johns culture region around 100 CE; as was common throughout Florida, mounds were used for burials. Some bodies were buried intact, in a flexed position, but most were first placed in charnel houses, which were built on top of a mound; the flesh was removed from, or allowed to rot off of, the bones, the bones were cleaned. The accumulated long bones and skulls of each individual were bundled and buried in a group in the mound; the charnel house would be destroyed by fire. A new layer of sand might be added to the mound, a new charnel house build on the top; the early mounds in the St. Johns culture region were 4 feet high up to an occasional 10 feet; the number of burials in a mound might be as high as 100, but most held fewer than 25. After 1050 influence from the Mississippian culture led some groups to construct platform mounds, which may have been topped by temples and/or chiefs' residences. One of these mounds, the Shields Mound in Duval County reached 190 feet along each side of the base, held 150 burials.
Another mound, Mt. Royal Mound, just north of Lake George, 15 feet high and 160 feet in diameter, was a burial mound; this mound contained many items received as trade goods from the region of the Mississippian culture. Chiefdoms in the St. Johns culture region did not achieve the size and power of those to the west, from the Florida panhandle through to the Mississippi valley, large platform mounds were rare in the St. Johns region. Milanich, Jerald T. "Chapter 3: St. Johns Culture of East and Central Florida", Florida's Indians from Ancient Times to the Present. University Press of Florida. ISBN 0-8130-1599-5 Southeastern Prehistory - Middle Woodland Period - Retrieved July 17, 2007 An Environmental History of Northeast Fl