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The Archaeology of the North American Great Plains


Part of Cambridge World Archaeology

  • Date Published: September 2021
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521873468

£ 105.00

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About the Authors
  • In this volume, Douglas B. Bamforth offers an archaeological overview of the Great Plains, the vast, open grassland bordered by forests and mountain ranges situated in the heart of North America. Synthesizing a century of scholarship and new archaeological evidence, he focuses on changes in resource use, continental trade connections, social formations, and warfare over a period of 15,000 years. Bamforth investigates how foragers harvested the grasslands more intensively over time, ultimately turning to maize farming, and examines the persistence of industrial mobile bison hunters in much of the region as farmers lived in communities ranging from hamlets to towns with thousands of occupants. He also explores how social groups formed and changed, migrations of peoples in and out of the Plains, and the conflicts that occurred over time and space. Significantly, Bamforth's volume demonstrates how archaeology can be used as the basis for telling long-term, problem-oriented human history.

    • Uses archaeology as the basis for telling long-term, problem-oriented human history
    • Brings together a century of published and unpublished research into a synthetic narrative
    • Provides a focused synthesis of human history at a very large geographic scale
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '… a comprehensive study of the region's archaeology … Recommended' L. L. Johnson, Choice Connect

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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2021
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521873468
    • length: 350 pages
    • dimensions: 260 x 185 x 26 mm
    • weight: 1.11kg
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2.Where and what are the Great Plains?
    3. Peopling the continent, peopling the Plains: pre-Clovis to 10,800 B.C
    4. Paleoindian hunters (and gatherers):
    10,800 to 6900 B.C.
    5. Diversity, environmental change
    and external connection: the Plains Archaic, 6900 to 600 B.C.
    6. Mounds, pots, pipes, and bison: the Plains Woodland Period, 600 B.C. to A.D. 950
    7. The context of maize farming on the Great Plains
    8. Settled farmers and their neighbors, Part I: the early Plains Village period, A.D. 950 to 1250
    9. Settled farmers and their neighbors continued: the Plains Village Period Part II: A.D. 1250 to 1400
    10. The Plains Village Period, Part III: fifteenth century transformations
    11. One promise kept: the Colonial Era, A.D. 1500 to the twentieth century
    12. Afterward.

  • Author

    Douglas B. Bamforth, University of Colorado Boulder
    Douglas B. Bamforth has worked on the Great Plains for 40 years, challenging stereotypes of Paleoindians and exploring neglected aspects of recent maize farmers. Previous books include The Allen Site: A Paleoindian Camp in Southwestern Nebraska and Archaeological Perspectives on Warfare on the Great Plains. 

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