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By Bernard K. Means

This booklet bargains a entire research of round village varieties. among A.D. a thousand and 1635, the population of southwestern Pennsylvania and parts of adjoining states - identified to archaeologists because the Monongahela tradition or culture - started to on a regular basis live in ring-shaped village settlements. those round settlements consisted of dwellings round a important plaza. A cross-cultural and cross-temporal evaluate of archaeological, ethnohistorical, and ethnographic circumstances demonstrates that this cost shape seemed many times and independently world wide, together with all through parts of the japanese Woodlands, one of the Plains Indians, and in valuable and South the US. particular archaeological circumstances are drawn from Somerset County, Pennsylvania, which has the most important variety of thoroughly excavated Monongahela villages. each one of these villages, excavated within the Nineteen Thirties as federal reduction tasks, have been lately dated. complete research of the wide excavations finds not just the geometric architectural patterning of the villages, yet allows an research of the social groupings, inhabitants estimates, and financial prestige of citizens that inhabited the round villages. round patterning may be published at much less totally excavated archaeological websites. targeted try excavations can assist be sure round village plans with out large and harmful excavations.

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4 Building Models of Village Spatial and Social Organizations A diverse range of social organizations is potentially re®ected in the patterned distribution of archaeological remains at Monongahela tradition village sites. The initial part of this chapter presents general theoretical considerations supporting the premise that a village’s community organization can be modeled from its material remains. This work draws on approaches developed to examine built environments—represented largely by architectural elements—and the social and behavioral use of space—notably spaces de¤ned by architectural elements.

Few sections of developed ®oodplain are present along the western Maryland segment of the river. Shortly after the Casselman River enters Pennsylvania, it develops major zones of ®at, extensive ®oodplain. These occur at bends in the river and at major con®uences (Wall 1981:78). The majority of village sites discussed in this work occur on or adjacent to the extensive areas of ®oodplain near the Boroughs of Meyersdale and Con®uence. In the vicinity of Meyersdale, landforms that contained cultural remains included ®oodplains of the Casselman River and tributary streams; the riverine terrace system along the Casselman River; small rises on the ®oodplain or riverine terraces; lower slopes; rockshelters on middle slopes; hillside benches; and ridge tops.

A village community can have a number of societies, referred to as sodalities, that serve a variety of functions, except marriage regulation. At a most basic level, sodalities refer to voluntary associations that form to meet certain needs and whose membership is nonhereditary, crosscutting clans, lineages, and dual organizations, including moieties (Callender 1962:31; Hill 1970:15; Lowie 1950:294). Depending on their nature, sodalities can be important integrative institutions (Hill 1970:15) that reinforce bonds between kin groups and overcome factionalism that could destroy or damage those bonds (see Carlson 1998:75; Gross 1979:332).

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