University of Florida Homepage

ANG 6186 Southeastern Archaeology

Dr. Sassaman

Southeastern Archaeology is a graduate seminar on the interpretation of 13,000 years of human history in the southeastern United States. The region boasts a rich and fascinating array of ancient cultural traditions, ranging from the thriving founding populations of the late Pleistocene, to the precocious moundbuilders of the mid-Holocene, to the experimental farmers of the late Holocene, to the chiefly societies of the late pre-Columbian and Contact eras. Although this history lends itself to a linear narrative of change—the dominant narrative in the region for over 60 years—the seminar is structured by topics of interest to a broader audience, such as the origins of agriculture, hereditary inequality, migration, monumentality, and urbanism. Recent research in the region has exposed the shortcomings of perspectives that assume, a priori, that change was linear and irreversible, with societies evolving over time into increasingly larger and more complex forms. A topical approach not beholden to a linear narrative encourages greater comparative study, and thus greater analytical utility outside of the region.