2004 Current Research on Late Precontact Societies of the Midcontinental United StatesJournal of Archaeological Research 12(4):311-372.
Research during the past decade on Late Precontact societies (ca. A.D. 1000– 1600/1700) in the Midcontinent, particularly Mississippian, Oneota, Fort Ancient, and Late Woodland, is strongly rooted in empirical approaches. While some of this work is pursued within a broadly evolutionary interpretive framework, other scholars emphasize agency and practice theory, symbolism, the historically contingent nature of human action, and cultural heterogeneity in sociopolitical organization, political economy, and subsistence. Dynamic models of the settlement systems and demography of complex societies have developed out of the recent growth in site inventories and refinements in ceramic chronologies and have come to be closely linked with theoretical treatments of sociopolitical organization. Various physical and chemical analytical techniques are commonly applied to the analysis of archaeological materials in this region, contributing to our understanding of direct and indirect exchange relationships and other forms of interaction, especially those between hierarchical and nonhierarchically organized societies, and enhancing our understanding of the kinds of foods prepared and eaten by people in the past.