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The Ritual Landscape of Late Precontact Eastern Oklahoma, The Ritual Landscape of Late Precontact Eastern Oklahoma, 0817320253, 0-8173-2025-3, 978-0-8173-2025-6, 9780817320256, , , The Ritual Landscape of Late Precontact Eastern Oklahoma, 0817392394, 0-8173-9239-4, 978-0-8173-9239-0, 9780817392390,

The Ritual Landscape of Late Precontact Eastern Oklahoma
Archaeology from the WPA Era until Today

2019. 392 pp.
105 B&W figures / 3 maps / 25 tables
Price:  $69.95 s
E Book
2019. 392 pp.
105 B&W figures / 3 maps / 25 tables
Price:  $69.95 d

Revisits and updates WPA-funded archaeological research on key Oklahoma mound sites

As part of Great Depression relief projects started in the 1930s, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) sponsored massive archaeological projects across Oklahoma. The WPA crews excavated eight mound sites and dozens of nonmound residential sites in the Arkansas River Valley that date between AD 1000 and 1450. These sites are considered the westernmost representations of Mississippian culture in the Southeast.
The results of these excavations were documented in field journals and photographs prepared by the field supervisors and submitted in a series of quarterly reports to WPA headquarters. These reports contain a wealth of unpublished information summarizing excavations at the mound sites and residential sites, including mound profiles, burial descriptions, house maps, artifact tables, and artifact sketches. Of the excavated mound sites, results from only one, Spiro, have been extensively studied and synthesized in academic literature. The seven additional WPA-excavated mound sites—Norman, Hughes, Brackett, Eufaula, Skidgel, Reed, and Lillie Creek—are known to archaeologists outside of Oklahoma only as unlabeled points on maps of mound sites in the Southeast.
The Ritual Landscape of Late Precontact Eastern Oklahoma curates and contextualizes the results of the WPA excavations, showing how they inform archaeological understanding of Mississippian occupation in the Arkansas Valley. Regnier, Hammerstedt, and Savage also relate the history and experiences of practicing archaeology in the 1930s, incorporating colorful excerpts from field journals of the young, inexperienced archaeologists. Finally, the authors update current knowledge of mound and nonmound sites in the region, providing an excellent example of historical archaeology.

Amanda L. Regnier is director of the Oklahoma Archaeological Survey at the University of Oklahoma. She is the author of Reconstructing Tascalusa’s Chiefdom: Pottery Styles and the Social Composition of Late Mississippian Communities along the Alabama River.

Scott W. Hammerstedt is senior researcher at the Oklahoma  Archaeological Survey and affiliated faculty in the department of anthropology at the University of Oklahoma. He is also codirector of the Spiro Landscape Archaeological Project, Le Flore County, Oklahoma.

Sheila Bobalik Savage is an affiliated researcher at the Oklahoma Archaeological Survey.

“This is a remarkable book representing a remarkable amount of effort with remarkable results. At a minimum, this volume should serve as model for other archaeologists who take up the challenge of bringing WPA collections out of storage and into the light of day. That Regnier, Hammerstedt, and Savage have done so in such a thorough, well-organized, and compelling manner is commendable. The Ritual Landscape of Late Precontact Eastern Oklahoma is highly recommended, period.”
Southeastern Archaeology

“I commend the authors in unearthing historical documents related to New Deal investigations in Eastern Oklahoma, critically examining those original findings, and contextualizing the WPA investigations with respect to the latest understandings of archaeology in the region.”
—Bernard K. Means, author of Circular Villages of the Monongahela Tradition and editor of Shovel Ready: Archaeology and Roosevelt's New Deal for America

Also of Interest

Archaeological Remote Sensing in North America
Edited by Duncan P. McKinnon and Bryan S. Haley

Reconstructing Tascalusa's Chiefdom
by Amanda L. Regnier

Shovel Ready
Edited by Bernard K. Means