“An important volume that will become an indispensable resource, providing a much-needed update on early contact in the North American Southeast with a rich emphasis on the agency and social lives of past indigenous communities.”—David H. Dye, editor of New Deal Archaeology in Tennessee: Intellectual, Methodological, and Theoretical Contributions
The years AD 1500–1700 were a time of dramatic change for the indigenous inhabitants of southeastern North America, yet Native histories during this era have been difficult to reconstruct due to a scarcity of written records before the eighteenth century. Using archaeology to enhance our knowledge of the period, Contact, Colonialism, and Native Communities in the Southeastern United States presents new research on the ways Native societies responded to early contact with Europeans.
Featuring sites from Kentucky to Mississippi to Florida, these case studies investigate how indigenous groups were affected by the expeditions of explorers such as Hernando de Soto, Pánfilo de Narváez, and Juan Pardo. Contributors re-create the social geography of the Southeast during this time, trace the ways Native institutions changed as a result of colonial encounters, and emphasize the agency of indigenous populations in situations of contact. They demonstrate the importance of understanding the economic, political, and social variability that existed between Native and European groups.
Bridging the gap between historical records and material artifacts, this volume answers many questions and opens up further avenues for exploring these transformative centuries, pushing the field of early contact studies in new theoretical and methodological directions.
Edmond A. Boudreaux III is director of the Center for Archaeological Research and associate professor of anthropology at the University of Mississippi. He is the author of The Archaeology of Town Creek. Maureen Meyers, associate professor of anthropology at the University of Mississippi, is coeditor of Archaeological Perspectives on the Southern Appalachians: A Multiscalar Approach. Jay K. Johnson, professor emeritus of anthropology at the University of Mississippi, is the editor of Remote Sensing in Archaeology: An Explicitly North American Perspective.