Nineteenth-century explorers of the American continent were amazed to find great monuments built of earth in the Eastern Woodlands.
Milner (anthropology, Pennsylvania State Univ.; The Cahokia Chiefdom) presents a thorough and comprehensive chronological survey of the history of prehistoric moundbuilding in eastern North America. Prehistoric mounds have fascinated and mystified people since the European settlement of North America began. Moundbuilding began among Native American groups as early as 3400 B.C.E. and continued in some areas of what is now the southern United States until around the time of the first contact with Europeans in the 16th century C.E. The greatest concentration of mound sites occurs in the Ohio and Mississippi River valleys. Milner gives in-depth descriptions of the various types of mounds that have been discovered and excavated, including burial mounds, flat-topped platform mounds, defensive earthworks, and effigy mounds, which were made in the shapes of animals. The strength of Milner's description lies in his use of accessible, nontechnical language and in his ability to clearly explain how the archaeological evidence found at the various mound sites gives important clues for discerning Native American lifestyles from the distant past. Excellent illustrations (133 b&w, 20 color) and extensive bibliographical references complement the text. Recommended for anthropology and archaeology collections in academic libraries.-Elizabeth Salt, Otterbein Coll. Lib., Westerville, OH Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.