Sponsored by: AIA Kentucky Society; University of Louisville Departments of Anthropology and History
How did climate change and migration shape early settlement in the Middle Ohio Valley? Archaeologist Aaron Comstock (Indiana University East) addresses this in his upcoming talk.
The spread of maize agriculture into the Eastern Woodlands of North America was a process that resulted in significant cultural transformations. In the Middle Ohio Valley, the origins of the first maize farmers, referred to as Fort Ancient societies, are unclear. While traditionally considered an in situ development, recent research suggests that some Fort Ancient sites exhibit traditions practiced by neighboring Mississippian polities. This presentation explores recent fieldwork at the Guard and Turpin sites, early Fort Ancient villages occupied between AD 1,000-1,300, with the goal of characterizing some of the first villages in the Middle Ohio Valley. By examining these sites in a broader regional context that includes climate change and migration, a more complex and dynamic picture of the first farmers in the region emerges.