Adena culture


Adena culture

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The Adena culture was a Pre-Columbian Native American culture that existed from 1000 BC to 200 BC, in a time known as the early Woodland Period. The Adena culture refers to what were probably a number of related Native American societies sharing a burial complex and ceremonial system. The Adena lived in a variety of locations, including: Ohio, Indiana, West Virginia, Kentucky, and parts of Pennsylvania and New York.

Importance

Adena sites are concentrated in a relatively small area - maybe 300 sites in the central Ohio Valley, with perhaps another 200 scattered throughout Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia and Pennsylvania, although they may once have numbered in the thousands. The importance of the Adena complex comes from its considerable influence on other contemporary cultures and cultures that came after it. [cite web | url = http://www.cabrillo.edu/~crsmith/adena.html| title = Native Peoples of North America-Adena| accessdate = 2008-09-12 ] The Adena culture is seen as the precursor to the cultural traditions of the Hopewell culture which are sometimes thought as an elaboration, or zenith, of Adena traditions. They are notable for their agricultural practices, pottery, artistic works and extensive trading network that supplied the Adena with a variety of raw materials such as copper from the Great Lakes to shells from the Gulf Coast. [cite web | url = http://history-world.org/Civilizations%20Of%20The%20Americas.htm| title = Civilizations Of The Americas, The Peoples To The North | accessdate = 2008-09-11 ] [cite web | url = http://www.ucs.mun.ca/~mdeal/Anth3291/notes7.htm| title = Early Woodland: Northeastern Middlesex Tradition | accessdate = 2008-09-11 ] [cite web | url = http://www.wvculture.org/sites/gravecreek.html| title = Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex | accessdate = 2008-09-11 ] The Adena culture is named for the large mound on Thomas Worthington's early 19th century estate called "Adena", in Chillicothe, Ohio. [cite web | url = http://www.oplin.org/point/people/erwdpeop.html| title = Identifying Flint Artifacts/Early Woodland People| accessdate = 2008-09-12 ]

Art and Religion

Mounds

Adena culture's most lasting artifacts were substantial earthworks. Adena sites are concentrated in a relatively small area - maybe 300 sites in the central Ohio Valley, with perhaps another 200 scattered throughout Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. [cite web | url = http://www.cabrillo.edu/~crsmith/adena.html| title = Native Peoples of North America-Adena| accessdate = 2008-09-12 ] Once Adena mounds numbered in the hundreds, but only a number of Adena earthen monuments still survive today. These mounds generally ranged in size from 20 to convert|300|ft|m in diameter and served as burial structures, ceremonial sites, historical markers and possibly gathering places. These mounds were built using hundreds of thousands of baskets full of specially selected and graded earth. According to archaeological investigations, Adena mounds were usually built as part of burial ritual, in which the earth of the mound was piled immediately atop a burned mortuary building. These mortuary buildings were intended to keep and maintain the dead until their final burial was performed. Before the construction of the mounds, some utilitarian and grave goods would be placed on the floor of the structure, which was burned with the goods and honored dead within. The mound would then be constructed, and often a new mortuary structure would be placed atop the new mound. After a series of repetitions, mound/mortuary/mound/mortuary, a quite prominent earthwork would remain. In the later Adena period, circular ridges of unknown function were sometimes constructed around the burial mounds. [cite web | url = http://www.cabrillo.edu/~crsmith/adena.html| title = Native Peoples of North America-Adena| accessdate = 2008-09-12 ] Adena mounds stood in isolation from domestic living areas. [cite web | url = http://www.answers.com/topic/adena-culture| title = Adena-Defintion from Answers.com| accessdate = 2008-09-12 ]

*The Grave Creek Mound, at convert|69|ft|m high and convert|295|ft|m in diameter, is the largest conical-type burial mound in the United States. It is located in Moundsville, West Virginia. In 1838, much of the archaeological evidence in this mound was destroyed when several non-archaeologists tunneled into the mound. [cite web | url = http://www.wvculture.org/sites/gravecreek.html| title = Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex | accessdate = 2008-09-11 ] [cite web | url = http://www.wvculture.org/history/mounds.html| title = Mounds and Mound Builders| accessdate = 2008-09-11 ]
*The Criel Mound, a convert|35|ft|m|sing=on high and convert|175|ft|m|sing=on-diameter conical mound, is the second largest of its type in West Virginia. It is located in South Charleston, West Virginia. P. W. Norris of the Smithsonian Institution oversaw the excavation. His team discovered numerous skeletons along with weapons and jewelry. [cite web | url = http://www.wvculture.org/history/mounds.html| title = Mounds and Mound Builders| accessdate = 2008-09-11 ]
*Several mounds attributed to the Adena culture can be found between Charleston and Institute in West Virginia.
*The Biggs Site, in Greenup County, Kentucky is a burial mound surrounded by a circular ditch and embankment. It is connected to the Portsmouth earthworks directly across the Ohio River in Portsmouth, Ohio. [cite web | url = http://www.ohiohistorycentral.org/entry.php?rec=2222 | title = Portsmouth Earthworks-Ohio Central History | accessdate = 2008-09-11 ] [cite book | last= Lewis |first= R. Barry | |title= Kentucky Archaeology |publisher= University Press of Kentucky | year= 1996 |isbn= 0-8131-1907-3 ]
*The Rock Eagle and Rock Hawk Effigy Mounds, in Putnam County, Georgia are sometimes attributed to members of the Adena culture.

hamanism

Although the mounds are beautiful artistic achievements themselves, Adena artists created smaller, more personal pieces of art. Art motifs that became important to many later Native Americans began with the Adena. [cite web | url = http://www.answers.com/topic/adena-culture| title = Adena-Defintion from Answers.com| accessdate = 2008-09-12 ] Motifs such as the weeping eye and cross and circle design, became mainstays in many succeeding cultures. Many pieces of art seemed to revolve around shamanic practices, and the transformation of humans into animals—particularly birds, wolves, bears and deer—and back to human form. This may indicate a belief that the practice imparted the animals qualities to the wearer or holder of the objects. Deer antlers, both real and constructed of copper, wolf, deer and mountain lion jawbones, and many other objects were fashioned into costumes, necklaces and other forms of regalia by the Adena. [ cite book | last = Power | first = Susan | title = Early Art of the Southeastern Indians-Feathered Serpents and Winged Beings | publisher = University of Georgia Press | date = 2004 | pages = pp. 29-34 | isbn - 0-08203-2501-5] Distinctive tubular smoking pipes, with either flattened or blocked-end mouthpieces, suggest the offering of smoke to the spirits. The objective of pipe smoking may have been altered states of consciousness, achieved through the use of the hallucinogenic plant Nicotiana rustica. All told, Adena was a manifestation of a broad regional increase in the number and kind of artifacts devoted to spiritual needs. [cite web | url = http://www.answers.com/topic/adena-culture| title = Adena-Defintion from Answers.com| accessdate = 2008-09-12 ]

tone tablets

The Adena also carved small stone tablets, usually 4 or 5 inches by 3 or 4 inches by .5 inches thick. On one or both flat sides were gracefully composed stylized zoomorphs or curvilinear geometric designs in deep relief. Paint has been found on some Adena tablets, leading archaeologists to propose that these stone tablets were probably used to stamp designs on cloth or animal hides, or onto their own bodies. [ cite book | last = Power | first = Susan | title = Early Art of the Southeastern Indians-Feathered Serpents and Winged Beings | publisher = University of Georgia Press | date = 2004 | pages = pp. 29-34 | isbn - 0-08203-2501-5] It's possible they were used to outline designs for tattooing. [cite web | url = http://www.answers.com/topic/adena-culture| title = Adena-Defintion from Answers.com| accessdate = 2008-09-12 ]

Pottery

Unlike in other cultures, Adena pottery was not buried with the dead or the remains of the cremated, as were other artifacts. Usually tempered with grit or crushed limestone, it was largely plain, cord-marked or fabric marked, although one type bore a nested-diamond design incised into its surface. The vessel shapes were sub-conoidal or flat-bottomed jars, sometimes with small foot-like supports. [cite web | url = http://www.indians-artifact.com/adena.php| title = Adena Site| accessdate = 2008-09-12 ]

Domestic life

ettlement patterns

The large and elaborate mound sites served a nearby scattering of people. The population was dispersed in small settlements of one to two structures. A typical house was built in a circe form from 15 to 45 feet in diameter. The walls were made of paired posts tilted outward, joined to other wood to form a cone shaped roof. The roof was then covered with bark and the walls may have been bark and/or wickerwork. [cite web | url = http://www.adena.com/adena/ad/ad01.htm| title = The Adena Mounds| accessdate = 2008-09-12 ]

Food sources

Their subsistence was aquired through foraging and the cultivation of native plants.
*Hunted deer, elk, black bear, woodchuck, beaver, porcupine, turkey, trumpeter swan, ruffed grouse
*Gathered several edible seed grasses and nuts. [cite web | url = http://www.larryjzimmerman.com/naarch/adena.htm| title = NA Archaeology : Adena| accessdate = 2008-09-12 ]
*Cultivated pumpkin, squash, sunflower, and Chenopodium
goosefoot
. [cite web | url = http://www.answers.com/topic/adena-culture| title = Adena-Defintion from Answers.com| accessdate = 2008-09-12 ]

Tools

The Adena ground-stone tools and axes. Somewhat, rougher slab-like stones with chipped edges were probably used as hoes. Bone and antler were used in small tools but even more prominently in ornamental objects such as beads, combs, and worked animal-jaw gorgets or paraphernalia. Spoon, beads and other implements were made from the marine conch. A few copper axes have been found, but otherwise the metal was hammered into ornamentsl forms, such as bracelets, rings, beads, and reel-shaped pendants. [cite web | url = http://www.indians-artifact.com/adena.php| title = Adena Site| accessdate = 2008-09-12 ]

References

External links

* [http://www.ohiomemory.org Ohio Memory]
* [http://www.ohiohistory.org/archaeology Ohio Historical Society's Archaeology Page]


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