Difference between revisions of "Adena Culture"

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| image = [[File:OHS_AL05217.jpg]]
| caption = Sunflowers were one of the first plants grown by Woodland tradition farmers.
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| caption = Painting from the Ancient Ohio art series depicting an Early Woodland/Adena (800 BC - AD 1) gathering at a ceremonial earthwork in the Hocking River Valley.
 
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<h2>800 B.C. to A.D. 1</h2>
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<p>The "Adena culture" is an archaeological term used to refer to a pre-contact American Indian culture that lived in Kentucky, southeastern Indiana, southwestern Pennsylvania, and most prominently in the Scioto River and Hocking Valleys in southern Ohio, and the Kanawha Valley near Charleston, West Virginia, during the Early Woodland Period (ca. 2,800-2,000 BP). The name “Adena” originates from the estate of Ohio Governor Thomas Worthington, about one and a half miles northwest of Chillicothe, Ohio, in Ross County, which he called “Adena,” which Worthington’s diary claims comes from a Hebrew name that “was given to places for the delightfulness of their situations.” Worthington’s estate was the home of a 26 foot tall ancient burial mound, hence the “Adena Mound” and “Adena culture.”</p>
  
== 800 B.C. to A.D. 1 ==
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<p>It is important to emphasize that the Adena culture is not the name of any American Indian tribe. We do not know what these people might have called themselves, or how they defined their societal or cultural groups. "Adena culture" is a term of archaeological convenience that encompasses similarities in artifact style, architecture, and other cultural practices that distinguish the Adena culture from earlier and later cultures in the region. Since the Adena Mound site exemplified all the significant features of the culture, it became the “type site” and the name of the site was applied to the entire culture.</p>
  
The Adena culture refers to the Ancient Ohioans that lived in southern Ohio and neighboring regions of West Virginia, Kentucky, and Indiana during the Early Woodland Period. They were the first people in this region to settle in small villages, cultivate crops, use pottery vessels, acquire exotic raw materials such as copper and marine shell to make ornaments and jewelry, and bury their honored dead in conical burial mounds.  
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<p>Through research, we know the Adena people were hunter-gatherers, but also began domesticating various crops, such as squash, sunflower, sumpweed, goosefoot, knotweed, maygrass, and tobacco. These people lived in small villages near their gardens, but likely moved frequently as they followed animal herds and other food sources, such as nuts, which supplemented the harvest from their gardens. In addition to undertaking small-scale horticultural production, the Adena were also the first people to produce clay pottery in Ohio, which is characterized by large, thick-walled vessels that were likely used to cook ground seeds into an oatmeal-like substance.</p>
  
This transition from a purely hunter-gatherer society to an existence focused on agriculture is sometimes referred to as the "Neolithic Revolution," but in Ohio, the process was more evolutionary than revolutionary. The Late Archaic ancestors of the Adena already had begun to gather intensively many of the plants that would become the staple crops in the Early Woodland Period. In addition they occasionally made pottery and used copper and shell to make ornaments.
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<p>The Adena cemented their ties to particular regions by burying their dead in prominent mounds that archaeologists believe may have served as territorial markers. Sometimes the mounds were accompanied by small, circular earthen enclosures that may have surrounded ritual spaces. The Miamisburg Mound in Montgomery County, Ohio, is the largest example of an Adena burial mound in the state. Based on the archaeology conducted at the time, we know that Adena burial mounds contained multiple burials and these individuals were usually accompanied with funerary objects such as bracelets, ear spools, gorgets, or large ornaments worn around the neck, and bone or stone tools. Deceased individuals were either cremated or laid on their backs in timber-lined tombs.</p>
  
The Adena grew a variety of plants in their gardens, including squash, sunflower, sump weed, goosefoot, knotweed, and may grass. This set of native plants often is referred to as the Eastern Agricultural Complex. The Ohio and Mississippi valleys were one of only seven regions in the world where people turned local plants into the basis for an economy based on agriculture. The consequences of this change in how people made a living would be far-reaching.
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<p>By around A.D. 1, some Adena groups began to build larger earthworks and to expand their efforts to acquire exotic raw materials, such as copper and mica. These later peoples are who we today refer to as the Hopewell culture, but many continued to follow the old ways in some regions, such as southwestern Ohio, and the Adena way of life persisted well into the first century A.D.</p>
  
The Adena lived in small villages near their gardens, but they likely moved frequently as they continued to follow a hunter-gatherer way of life, which they supplemented with the harvest from their gardens. Adena pottery consisted of large, thick-walled vessels that likely were used to cook the ground-up seeds of the Eastern Agricultural Complex into gruel akin to oatmeal.
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==See Also==
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<div class="seeAlsoText">
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*[[Late Woodland Cultures]]
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*[[Adena Spear Points]]
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*[[Adena Pipe]]
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*[[Adena]]
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*[[http://www.oplin.org/point/people/erwdpeop.html Early Woodland/Adena Culture]]
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</div>
  
The Adena cemented their ties to particular regions by burying their dead in prominent mounds that may have served as territorial markers. Sometimes the mounds would be accompanied by small, circular earthen enclosures that surrounded ritual spaces. The Miamisburg Mound, in Montgomery County, is the largest example of an Adena burial mound in Ohio.
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==References==
 
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<div class="referencesText">
A mound would be started with the burial of a principal leader. As more famed tribesmen passed away, they would layer the burial chambers on top of one another, growing the mound. Not all members of a tribe would be buried like this and it is still unknown what the Adena did with their dead who were not entombed in a mound.  
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#Abrams, Elliot M. and Ann Corinne Freter. <em>Emergence Of Moundbuilders: Archaeology Of Tribal Societies In Southeastern Ohio</em>. Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 2005.
 
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#Lepper, Bradley T. "The Adena Pipe: icon of ancient Ohio." ''Timeline'' Volume 27, Number 1, pages 2-15. 2010.
The mounds stood between two and seventy feet tall with a circumference that peaked around three hundred feet in diameter. Within the tombs there were ceremonial items significant to the deceased including smoking pipes, jewelry, and shells. Development, farming, and vandalism have damaged or destroyed most of the Adena burial mounds in Ohio, leaving only a handful of sites intact.
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#Lepper, Bradley T. <em>Ohio Archaeology: An Illustrated Chronicle of Ohio's Ancient American Indian Cultures.</em> Wilmington, Ohio, Orange Frazer Press, 2005.&nbsp;
 
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#Woodward, Susan L., and Jerry N. McDonald. <em>Indian Mounds of the Middle Ohio Valley: A Guide to Mounds and Earthworks of the Adena, Hopewell, Cole, and Fort Ancient People</em>. Lincoln: The University of Nebraska Press, 2002.<strong>&nbsp;</strong>
By 100 B.C., some of the Adena groups had begun to build larger earthworks and expand their efforts to acquire exotic raw materials. These groups became the Hopewell culture, but many people continued to follow the old ways and in some regions, such as southwestern Ohio, the Adena culture persisted well into the 1st century A.D.
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</div>
 
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[[Category:Prehistory Groups]][[Category:Prehistory]][[Category:American Indians]]
It is important to emphasize that “Adena” is not the name of a Native American tribe. We do not know what these people may have called themselves. Instead, it is a term of archaeological convenience that encompasses similarities in artifact style, architecture, and other cultural practices that distinguish the Adena culture from earlier and later cultures in the region. The name comes from the name of the estate of Governor Thomas Worthington in Chillicothe, Ohio. A large mound on this property was called the Adena Mound. Since this mound site exemplified all the significant features of the culture, it became the "type site" and the name of the site was applied to the entire culture.  
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[[Category:Prehistory Groups]]
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[[Category:Prehistory]][[Category:American Indians]]
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Latest revision as of 11:55, 28 April 2017

OHS AL05217.jpg
Painting from the Ancient Ohio art series depicting an Early Woodland/Adena (800 BC - AD 1) gathering at a ceremonial earthwork in the Hocking River Valley.

800 B.C. to A.D. 1

The "Adena culture" is an archaeological term used to refer to a pre-contact American Indian culture that lived in Kentucky, southeastern Indiana, southwestern Pennsylvania, and most prominently in the Scioto River and Hocking Valleys in southern Ohio, and the Kanawha Valley near Charleston, West Virginia, during the Early Woodland Period (ca. 2,800-2,000 BP). The name “Adena” originates from the estate of Ohio Governor Thomas Worthington, about one and a half miles northwest of Chillicothe, Ohio, in Ross County, which he called “Adena,” which Worthington’s diary claims comes from a Hebrew name that “was given to places for the delightfulness of their situations.” Worthington’s estate was the home of a 26 foot tall ancient burial mound, hence the “Adena Mound” and “Adena culture.”

It is important to emphasize that the Adena culture is not the name of any American Indian tribe. We do not know what these people might have called themselves, or how they defined their societal or cultural groups. "Adena culture" is a term of archaeological convenience that encompasses similarities in artifact style, architecture, and other cultural practices that distinguish the Adena culture from earlier and later cultures in the region. Since the Adena Mound site exemplified all the significant features of the culture, it became the “type site” and the name of the site was applied to the entire culture.

Through research, we know the Adena people were hunter-gatherers, but also began domesticating various crops, such as squash, sunflower, sumpweed, goosefoot, knotweed, maygrass, and tobacco. These people lived in small villages near their gardens, but likely moved frequently as they followed animal herds and other food sources, such as nuts, which supplemented the harvest from their gardens. In addition to undertaking small-scale horticultural production, the Adena were also the first people to produce clay pottery in Ohio, which is characterized by large, thick-walled vessels that were likely used to cook ground seeds into an oatmeal-like substance.

The Adena cemented their ties to particular regions by burying their dead in prominent mounds that archaeologists believe may have served as territorial markers. Sometimes the mounds were accompanied by small, circular earthen enclosures that may have surrounded ritual spaces. The Miamisburg Mound in Montgomery County, Ohio, is the largest example of an Adena burial mound in the state. Based on the archaeology conducted at the time, we know that Adena burial mounds contained multiple burials and these individuals were usually accompanied with funerary objects such as bracelets, ear spools, gorgets, or large ornaments worn around the neck, and bone or stone tools. Deceased individuals were either cremated or laid on their backs in timber-lined tombs.

By around A.D. 1, some Adena groups began to build larger earthworks and to expand their efforts to acquire exotic raw materials, such as copper and mica. These later peoples are who we today refer to as the Hopewell culture, but many continued to follow the old ways in some regions, such as southwestern Ohio, and the Adena way of life persisted well into the first century A.D.

See Also

References

  1. Abrams, Elliot M. and Ann Corinne Freter. Emergence Of Moundbuilders: Archaeology Of Tribal Societies In Southeastern Ohio. Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 2005.
  2. Lepper, Bradley T. "The Adena Pipe: icon of ancient Ohio." Timeline Volume 27, Number 1, pages 2-15. 2010.
  3. Lepper, Bradley T. Ohio Archaeology: An Illustrated Chronicle of Ohio's Ancient American Indian Cultures. Wilmington, Ohio, Orange Frazer Press, 2005. 
  4. Woodward, Susan L., and Jerry N. McDonald. Indian Mounds of the Middle Ohio Valley: A Guide to Mounds and Earthworks of the Adena, Hopewell, Cole, and Fort Ancient People. Lincoln: The University of Nebraska Press, 2002.