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Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory

, Volume 12, Issue 4, pp 335–364 | Cite as

Poverty Point as Structure, Event, Process

  • Kenneth E. Sassaman
Article

Abstract

A multiscalar analysis of the Poverty Point mound and ridge complex of northeast Louisiana illustrates the value of agency and practice theories to historical interpretations of monumental architecture. The architects of Poverty Point included both ancient mounds in their design and, arguably, symbolic representations of the far-flung places and peoples from which Poverty Point residents acquired raw materials for tools and ornaments. The conjunction of the past with the present, and the local with the nonlocal was the logic of a new social order that was both corporate and pluralistic. Extrapolation of the geometry of Poverty Point earthworks at increasingly larger scales encompasses the places and histories of communities whose migrations, shifting alliances, and transformations contributed to the genesis of Poverty Point culture.

Keywords

Monumentality social memory multiscalar analysis Poverty Point 

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© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of FloridaGainesville
  2. 2.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of FloridaGainesville

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