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<v host>It was cold, bitter cold when they came across. <v host>Before they came here, they wondered for centuries. <v host>Today we know them as centuries hence we shall be known. <v host>Not so much by heroic deeds or grand gestures. <v host>But mostly by the little things that are lost or left behind. [music] Who <v host>were these people? <v host>Why did they come here?
<v host>Where did they go? <v host>How did they live and die? [music] <v host>The saga begins in the midst of an Ice Age, perhaps 40,000 <v host>years ago. For centuries, massive glaciers had pushed southward <v host>from the Arctic, burying half a continent. <v host>So much of the Earth's oceans were trapped in the ice that the sea levels <v host>dropped and the icy Arctic waters separating America from Asia <v host>drew back, exposing a land called Berengia.
<v host>The oceans receded, a broad, <v host>plain merge and rich soil gave birth to a variety of life. <v host>Herd animals grazed the tough grasses of this arctic tundra, mammoth <v host>and musk ox, elk and caribou. <v host>They were, of course, followed by their natural predators, wolves, lions, bears and man. <v host>Hundreds <v host>of miles of glacial ice blocked passage to the south. <v host>But at least twice during the thousands of years that were the Ice Ages, <v host>the ebb and flow of the glaciers opened both Berengia and the <v host>ice free route south. <v host>When Beringia laid dry the corridor to the South lay open. <v host>Man begin his trek through the ice.
<v host>Pursuing the migrating birds from the grasslands near the Arctic Circle, <v host>up into northern pine forests and on to the high plains of the Missouri <v host>Valley, man's nomadic wanderings eventually led him to <v host>the woodlands of the Southeast. <v host>It was a migration measured in millennia which brought these ancient <v host>hunters to the Tennessee Valley of northern Alabama. <v host>At least twelve thousand years ago. <v host>[music] [heavy breathing] Where <v host>there once stood a living man. <v host>We have only a fire cracked rock, a stone tool, a charred
<v host>bone, few tangible remnants of these ancient people survive. <v host>Most of what was theirs, baskets and skins, cordage and sinew traps <v host>and snares have long since disappeared, decayed before the onslaught <v host>of time. <v host>Only the stone tools remain to unschooled eyes. <v host>These implements may seem nothing more than formless bits of broken rock. <v host>In fact, their shapes are quite intentional and utilitarian, <v host>and their variety and efficiency are remarkable. <v host>There are scrapers, knives, gravers and drills, <v host>chisels and choppers. <v host>And there are the points given names like Clovis, Redstone, <v host>Cumberland and Quad after the sites where they were first discovered. <v host>Each of these beautifully crafted pieces of weaponry is tangible
<v host>evidence of man's presence at least 12,000 years <v host>ago. [music] It was the timewhen mammoth and mastadon, giant <v host>sloths and bison, saber tooth cats and even camels <v host>roamed the forests and grasslands of the South, and men hunted <v host>these beasts, the largest mammals ever to walk the earth. <v host>[sound of rock breaking] To <v host>disable and kill his prey, the ancient hunter used a heavy stoned <v host>tipped spear, which he held and thrust or threw over <v host>short distances. To make the point man worked chert, <v host>a native stone which breaks and fractures like thick glass.
<v host>Once a rough shape, a pre-form has been struck from a larger piece of stone. <v host>It is percussion play. <v host>Striking this pre-form with a baton, the bone or antler, large <v host>flakes of stone are removed, and the point given a definite shape. <v host>The point is finished by pressure flaking, pushing a fine tip bone <v host>tool, against the stone, to remove small flakes and sharpen <v host>the edge. <v host>When this point is hefted, bound tightly to a spear shaft, <v host>it becomes a lethal weapon. [nature noises] [music]
<v Speaker>Both the weapons and the society. <v Speaker>These ancient hunters were efficiently equipped for survival. <v Speaker>They traveled light carrying little beyond the most essential tools and weapons, <v Speaker>built no permanent structures and kept their band small, usually <v Speaker>30 or so family members. <v Speaker>So there a few mouths to feed and few people to move. <v Speaker>These nomads had mastered the subtle signs and cycles of plants and animals. <v Speaker>They knew the time and place of spawning runs, the paths of herd movements <v Speaker>and the location of the richest natural harvests. <v Speaker>In the Southeast, these hunters migrated through the Tennessee River Valley. <v Speaker>Then, as now, the bottomland was rich and fertile. <v Speaker>Plant food was abundant and game trails criss crossed the forest, <v Speaker>stopping its springs, sinkholes and small oxbow. <v Speaker>On the ridges overlooking these spots where he could command the approaches, watching
<v Speaker>for danger and waiting for prey. <v Speaker>Men make. <v Speaker>We don't know a great deal about the paleo Indians. <v Speaker>We've got archaeological sites, stone artifacts, but the bulk of <v Speaker>their material culture, the calf bone and ivory wooden tools, basketry, <v Speaker>all of these have been lost for thousands of years. <v Speaker>How then can archaeologists say anything positive about these people? <v Speaker>Well, for one thing, we know the paleo Indians were hunters and gatherers. <v Speaker>Therefore, we can study the life ways of modern hunters and gatherers, the Bushmen of the <v Speaker>Kalahari or the Eskimo from these people. <v Speaker>We can make analogies from these analogies. <v Speaker>We can create models, models which help archaeologists to understand or at least to <v Speaker>explain the ways in which the paleo Indian should have lived. <v Speaker>As a result of this, we can say very positively that they lived in small bands, <v Speaker>that they followed the herds. We can even make suggestions about their social systems.
<v Speaker>The paleo Indians forged a culture that was in balance with their environment. <v Speaker>When these ancient hunters first came to Alabama, North America <v Speaker>was locked in an ice age. <v Speaker>But the glaciers began their retreat around 11000 B.C. <v Speaker>and over the next three millennia, that world would die and be <v Speaker>reborn in a different shape and form. <v Speaker>The sea level rose grassland. <v Speaker>The huge Ice Age mammals vanished, prey to extinction. <v Speaker>In the Southeast, where the impact of the Ice Age had been less dramatic, <v Speaker>man had already begun his adaptation to the present day climate and environment.
<v Speaker>His culture underwent a gradual and continuous change into a form <v Speaker>archeologist called the archaic. <v Speaker>During this archaic period, Indian bands became larger and more settled, <v Speaker>and they began to discover new ways of using their natural bounty around. <v Speaker>People have always gathered a. <v Speaker>But does the great piece of the Ice Age died away, the ancient hunters <v Speaker>became harvesters as well. <v Speaker>An elephant or a mammoth might furnish food for a week. <v Speaker>A rabbit is barely a meat. <v Speaker>But the eastern woodlands and streams yielded an ample supply of vegetable <v Speaker>foods and shellfish, which provided a stable base for the Indian diet. <v Speaker>The man continued, but Indians became increasingly efficient gatherers <v Speaker>of the natural harvest. <v Speaker>This development is marked by the appearance of plant processing equipment, <v Speaker>ground stone axes, Malone Stone bowls and other tools of bone
<v Speaker>and shell plant remains also appear. <v Speaker>These suggests that men may have eaten blackberries, <v Speaker>cherries, yams, plums and cattails, <v Speaker>sunflower seeds and hickory nuts, walnuts and acorns. <v Speaker>Evidently, man adapted quite well. <v Speaker>The increased importance of vegetable food did not alter the need to. <v Speaker>But the large lumbering Ice Age pieces were replaced by the swift, <v Speaker>shy animals of the forest. <v Speaker>And so the tactics of the hunt changed. <v Speaker>Hunting bands continue to seek out gain, but gone with a team effort <v Speaker>to subdue large animals. <v Speaker>In their place was the solitary stalking <v Speaker>its prey in the forest with within.
<v Speaker>Called by its @stake name, this device added a lever to the simple spear <v Speaker>mechanism, intensifying its killing power, great strength was no <v Speaker>longer required to make a fatal wound. <v Speaker>Hunting was no longer restricted to those of superior physical ability. <v Speaker>The atlatl allowed more Indians to join the hunt and increase its yield. <v Speaker>Since most of the atlatl was made from wood, none of the original weapons <v Speaker>have survived. <v Speaker>But the bone book and the mysterious Bana's stone clue archaeologists <v Speaker>to the use of the device. <v Speaker>Dr. Craig T Shelton. <v Speaker>Atlatl weight or band or Stone is a good example of how archaeological field techniques <v Speaker>can help us to understand the past. <v Speaker>When originally found in the 19th century, these perforated stone objects <v Speaker>were called banner stones because they were thought to have been mounted on the ensuing
<v Speaker>wooden shafts or sticks and used as weapons. <v Speaker>They actually knew very little about them because these objects were simply found either <v Speaker>on the surface or dug up indiscriminately from Indian sites in the southeast. <v Speaker>Then in the 1930s, modern archaeological feel <v Speaker>techniques began to be used and our understanding of archaeological <v Speaker>objects began to improve. <v Speaker>The purpose of archaeological field technique is not simply to recover <v Speaker>objects such as a banner stone or a lot of weight, but to recover <v Speaker>the objects in such a way that we know the maximum amount of information about the people <v Speaker>who made and used and discarded these artifacts. <v Speaker>The way we maximize information about objects and so forth as to <v Speaker>very carefully excavate in squares level <v Speaker>by level, very carefully recording. <v Speaker>This is called excavating in context. <v Speaker>And what we're attempting to do is show how the objects rest in
<v Speaker>relation to other objects within the site. <v Speaker>Here's a very excellent example of how excavation and context can help us to <v Speaker>understand something. Here is one of these so-called banner. <v Speaker>stones and it is in close proximity to <v Speaker>a antler atlatl hook or spear through hook <v Speaker>by very carefully brushing away the dirt. <v Speaker>We were able to see this dark line of discoloration, which probably <v Speaker>represents a decayed wooden shell which ran through the hole <v Speaker>in the stone and into the socket on the hook. <v Speaker>The interpretation of this object now is <v Speaker>that it is an atlatl and the weight served in some way to improve the efficiency <v Speaker>of this device. <v Speaker>We're not certain exactly how the purpose of the axolotl weight <v Speaker>is something of a mystery. <v Speaker>It may have had a functional use imparting a certain feel to the weapon, <v Speaker>or it may have served a mystical purpose, a charm, or a talisman to ensure
<v Speaker>a good hunt. Whatever the theory, the fact is that the arcade period <v Speaker>Indian sculpted these stones in a variety of shapes and sizes with <v Speaker>a craftsman skill and. <v Speaker>Stone is shaped with a combination of techniques. <v Speaker>It is packed, literally battered into shape with another harder stone <v Speaker>and it is grounded. Rough edges, smooth and within abrasive. <v Speaker>Then it is drilled with a small section of hollow reed and a little wet
<v Speaker>sand. A hole is bored through the widest part of the stone. <v Speaker>In the last step of this construction process of fine, abrasive is applied <v Speaker>to the stone, smoothing the surface and finishing it to
<v Speaker>a high polish. <v Speaker>Mastery of these skills and techniques enable the manufacture of <v Speaker>a variety of tools. <v Speaker>Split bone with smoothed and sharpened into the needles and Ole's, <v Speaker>which were tied sinew and planned fiber or craftsmen, might <v Speaker>employ the natural curves and hollows of a cross section of bone. <v Speaker>And by careful grinding produce a very sharp, very effective <v Speaker>Fishell. <v Speaker>Shells were ground and drill for ornaments and beads, which became necklaces, <v Speaker>independence and varieties of dense stone like granite <v Speaker>was shaped by picking and grinding to become mothers. <v Speaker>EXs Bowles, even Pipe's.
<v Speaker>In the southeast, spring brings an end to the winter rains. <v Speaker>And as the weather turns warm and mild, the land gives birth <v Speaker>to a variety of life. <v Speaker>Allowing the easy collection of shellfish. <v Speaker>And in response to this pulse in the natural cycle. <v Speaker>In the bottom lines you made river shore waters yielded <v Speaker>a harvest of shellfish. <v Speaker>These sites found along many of Alabama's rivers are marked by mounds <v Speaker>of discarded shells <v Speaker>at the large mounds.
<v Speaker>The shellfish harvest may have been rich enough to support several cooperating <v Speaker>bands. These bands might winters separately, but on the shell <v Speaker>mounds, they work together, sharing stone and other resources <v Speaker>brought from the uplands. <v Speaker>Freshwater clams, mussels and snails were collected by the tundra, <v Speaker>though shellfish was one diet staple. <v Speaker>Parties would forage the surrounding countryside, bringing their bounty home <v Speaker>to be made into usable product and edible food. <v Speaker>A base camp was pitched, simple huts were put up and cooking pits <v Speaker>dug. Men would hunt and fish. <v Speaker>Women cooked in tenders and the young and aged would gather. <v Speaker>Since several bands might share a summer camp, this season probably
<v Speaker>became an occasion for a social ritual. <v Speaker>Rites of passage were conducted and marriages contracted. <v Speaker>Where a man once followed the hunt, he now followed the season. <v Speaker>And until fall and the beginning of the rainy season, until a Polk's <v Speaker>in the natural cycle dictated another move, he would live in the bottom line. <v Speaker>This vote came in the form of a ripening nut harvest with the arrival <v Speaker>of the rains rising river levels. <v Speaker>The collection of shellfish impossible and man left a dwindling food <v Speaker>supply for a ripening one. <v Speaker>He abandoned the river bottoms and the collection of shellfish for the abundant <v Speaker>harvest of the Upland Forest.
<v Speaker>As the weather turning, clÉment men sought shelter among the limestone <v Speaker>and sandstone formations of high ground. <v Speaker>Caves, love shelters, became his homes through the fall and winter. <v Speaker>He hunted deer, turkey and squirrel, gathered nuts and packed <v Speaker>his storage pits against the coming frost. <v Speaker>Hickory nuts and walnuts could be eaten right out of the show. <v Speaker>Chestnuts were often roasted, but acorns contain a large <v Speaker>amount of tannic acid and are virtually inedible in natural form.
<v Speaker>The acid was removed or leached by repeatedly pouring boiling <v Speaker>water through ground. Eat your meal. <v Speaker>The most difficult part of this process was boiling the water. <v Speaker>At the time, water was carried in hide bags are tightly woven pitch covered <v Speaker>baskets, neither of which can withstand an open flame. <v Speaker>There were heavy, fragile bowls of sandstone or staircase, <v Speaker>sandstone shatters and direct heat and steel tight breaks easily <v Speaker>and it's difficult to obtain by holding heated rocks in a water filled <v Speaker>container. <v Speaker>The water can be brought to a boil in the container left undamaged. <v Speaker>This procedure is laborious, but it gave man the ability to process <v Speaker>a wide range of foods which were otherwise inedible.
<v Speaker>Boiling added new sources of protein and carbohydrate to the diet. <v Speaker>Not only was there more variety in the food supply, but with more readily <v Speaker>available foods to choose from. <v Speaker>The amount of time spent searching for food was reduced. <v Speaker>This new found abundance of foods, coupled with an ever growing proficiency <v Speaker>at storage, stabilize the food supply and released man <v Speaker>from the feast or famine cycle of the hunt. <v Speaker>More efficient at exploiting his surroundings. <v Speaker>He no longer needed to move constantly in search of food. <v Speaker>As a hunter, he was forced into a nomadic life as an intensive <v Speaker>gatherer of the natural harvest as well. <v Speaker>He could limit his movement to a twice yearly migration. <v Speaker>The bottom lands in the spring and the uplands in the fall.
<v Speaker>Over the 7000 years of the archaic tradition, men had successfully <v Speaker>adapted to his environment, but he was forced to live within the limits not <v Speaker>of that environment, but of his ability to exploit it. <v Speaker>The limit was technological. <v Speaker>Man did not have the technology to utilize all the sustenance. <v Speaker>The food that was available around him. <v Speaker>A development of tremendous significance changed that situation. <v Speaker>The technique of pottery making was developed separately in many areas of the world. <v Speaker>Most likely it was introduced to the Southeast by a way of cultural diffusion. <v Speaker>The slow spread of ideas from one group of people to another. <v Speaker>But whatever its origin, it had a profound impact on the development <v Speaker>of south eastern culture with a fireproof, key resistant,
<v Speaker>watertight vessel. Food could be quickly processed and easily stored <v Speaker>to a society whose fundamental economic currency was food. <v Speaker>Pottery meant stability and growth. <v Speaker>Pure clay is not easily worked. <v Speaker>It can be an infuriating combination of sticky and slippery. <v Speaker>It doesn't dry thoroughly or evenly and pockets of moisture can <v Speaker>cause it to shatter when fired. <v Speaker>To remedy this problem, another substance must be added this <v Speaker>tempering agent makes the clay easier to handle. <v Speaker>It reduces the amount of water necessary and allows for more uniform <v Speaker>drying and less breakage during fiery. <v Speaker>The first Southeastern Potters makes clay with plant fiber and pulling,
<v Speaker>pinching, pushing shape their bowls and jars. <v Speaker>These techniques eventually gave way to coiled pottery, tempered <v Speaker>with sand, grit, crushed rock or grog, crushed pottery. <v Speaker>The mixed use produced a strong durable ceramic and coiling allowed <v Speaker>for efficient, fast construction. <v Speaker>Instead of days of laborious picking and grinding to produce stone <v Speaker>balls, young women and children turn shapeless lumps of earth
<v Speaker>into designs and function and beauty. <v Speaker>There were other technological developments which arrived by way of cultural diffusion. <v Speaker>The bow and arrow. <v Speaker>And a kind of rudimentary. <v Speaker>But it was pottery which launch man into a new lifestyle. <v Speaker>The woodland tradition with Pottery Men good process <v Speaker>and store more than nature, unheated good furniture. <v Speaker>And he began to farm. <v Speaker>Natural stands of edible plants will hold. <v Speaker>And we did. And after several seasons of care, the density and yield <v Speaker>of these standards increased. <v Speaker>Eventually, seeds were saved and suring next year's harvest. <v Speaker>The success of these efforts stabilize the food supply and allowed a permanence <v Speaker>to settlement. Hunters still range far and wide for game. <v Speaker>Even used old campgrounds gathering parties still roam the forest
<v Speaker>and work the shoal waters. <v Speaker>But a change of seasons no longer forced a migration. <v Speaker>Control over his food supply allowed man to settle down, living in <v Speaker>semi-permanent villages of thatch roofed huts. <v Speaker>As he became more sedentary, he began to trade with other groups to get <v Speaker>the raw materials he needed. <v Speaker>Leaders emerged who could organize this economic activity and <v Speaker>as people found, they derived power and influence from association with the leader. <v Speaker>Differences in status and prestige. <v Speaker>Social rank developed. <v Speaker>Archaeologists know of this distinction between common and elite because of <v Speaker>the sometimes striking differences in burial treatment. <v Speaker>Some internments are simple and contain few with any grave goods. <v Speaker>Others are quite elaborate, marked by small, rounded earthen mound <v Speaker>and accompanied by tools, charms, jewelry, <v Speaker>pipes, pottery, even dogs.
<v Speaker>These possessions are found in the burials of young and old alike, indicating <v Speaker>that wealth was not only earned but could be inherited, status could be achieved <v Speaker>by virtue of birth. <v Speaker>Dr. Kenneth our Turner. <v Speaker>By the time a human being is converted to a skeleton, the <v Speaker>history, the diary of that individual is written in the bones of that person. <v Speaker>High status, as indicated by burial associations, seems to <v Speaker>make its first obvious appearances in woodland times in the southeastern <v Speaker>United States. This individual in particular was a company <v Speaker>with large amounts of copper, which here have stained the bones of a brilliant green blue <v Speaker>color. This same individual was buried together with this individual <v Speaker>over here who is of about the same age as have a little bit older <v Speaker>and interesting property of this individual. <v Speaker>Is that the back of the skull shows us the marks of a severe <v Speaker>fracture produced by some sort of club.
<v Speaker>This fracture was produced at the time of death, leading us to <v Speaker>suppose that this individual was killed intentionally, <v Speaker>perhaps to accompany the high status individual at the time of interment. <v Speaker>Some of the other concomitant or accompaniments of of <v Speaker>the Woodland and Mississippian period times involved modifications <v Speaker>of the skeleton which appear to have been intentional. <v Speaker>It's quite obvious as we examine this cranium that it has been flattened, <v Speaker>particularly in the region of the forehead funnel in the region, in the back of the head <v Speaker>or occipital. This is accomplished apparently by binding <v Speaker>the infant's head into an arrangement of Borch so that one board lay across the top <v Speaker>of the fore head and another at the back. <v Speaker>The result, of course, of this device was once it would remove the bones, which are <v Speaker>fairly plastic during infancy, had permanently assumed the <v Speaker>shape forced upon them by the retaining device.
<v Speaker>A more dramatic example of cultural modification to bones found in this humerus. <v Speaker>We can see a projectile point deeply embedded in the bone. <v Speaker>Imbedding required considerable force and was probably produced by a <v Speaker>dart thrown with the use of an atlatl. <v Speaker>The wound shows no healing in the vicinity of the point, so we can conclude quite readily <v Speaker>that the individual at least died at about the time this point was embedded <v Speaker>in his arm. But the real danger to humans living in <v Speaker>times past was not their fellow humans, of course. <v Speaker>And the most common cause of death was not predation by lions <v Speaker>and tigers and bears, but instead it was infestation or infection. <v Speaker>Here is an example of the lower leg bone of a female, just <v Speaker>for the sake of illustration. <v Speaker>Here's a tibia from a healthy individual about the same age. <v Speaker>You see the striking difference in form of the tube.
<v Speaker>This bone. <v Speaker>Here has been extensively remodeled by osteomyelitis, <v Speaker>that is to say an infection of the bone itself because there were no antibiotics <v Speaker>at this time. <v Speaker>The best one could do then in those days was to keep such suffering individual alive <v Speaker>as long as possible. The death was inevitable. <v Speaker>One of the more time honored contributions of physical anthropologists to archaeological <v Speaker>research involves the estimation of the age of death and the <v Speaker>sex of individuals who were represented by the skeletal remains. <v Speaker>Recovered from archaeological provenance is here to fairly <v Speaker>good examples of a female cranium and a male cranium. <v Speaker>If you look in the facial region, for instance, you can see that male has much larger <v Speaker>brow ridges and a somewhat more rugged looking face, whereas <v Speaker>the female's facial region is smoother, the brow ridges are not so well-defined.
<v Speaker>If we tilt up and look inside the orbital borders here, they're much sharper, which is a <v Speaker>very feminine characteristic. In general, the skull of the female is smaller <v Speaker>and more lightly built than that of the male. <v Speaker>We can also utilize quantitative approaches, <v Speaker>for example, in measuring the dimensions of this femoral HYND We would find <v Speaker>it falls within the masculine range. <v Speaker>More sophisticated techniques are available which allow us to give a <v Speaker>probability statement to our sex assessments. <v Speaker>Age estimation is a more difficult problem, particularly when we're <v Speaker>dealing with adult skeletons were no phenomena of <v Speaker>maturation occurring. The only thing that happens is that our skeletons decay <v Speaker>and decline. By assessing the relative degree of decay or decline, <v Speaker>we can produce a useful estimate of the age at death of an adult. <v Speaker>These statistics on sex and age of death for archaeological
<v Speaker>populations provide us with some information concerning <v Speaker>the general health and vitality of a population. <v Speaker>Of the various grave goods that found their way into woodland period burials, <v Speaker>one of the more exotic is copper. <v Speaker>The presence and use of the metal does not imply a knowledge of smelting. <v Speaker>Reducing the metal from or for southeastern Indian simply worked with <v Speaker>raw nuggets into sheets or beads. <v Speaker>What is most interesting is that only small deposits of copper are native <v Speaker>to the Tennessee River Valley. <v Speaker>The metal was probably imported from the Great Lakes. <v Speaker>Over a thousand miles away. <v Speaker>Each section of the content can produce some desirable product, which others did not <v Speaker>have. Obsidian was traded from the Rockies. <v Speaker>Marine shell found its way from the Gulf of Mexico. <v Speaker>Red Pipe Stone came from quarries in present day Minnesota and Wisconsin.
<v Speaker>Still tight and Micah, one mind and Appalachian. <v Speaker>And then tell me I'm an abalone shell arrived from the Pacific Coast, <v Speaker>long distance travel was not unusual. <v Speaker>Man, my cover as much as 2000 miles in a matter of weeks, <v Speaker>moving along trade routes, which would last for centuries in two and <v Speaker>beyond the period of European colonization. <v Speaker>It is an age of exploration. <v Speaker>It is an age of conquest, having plundered fabulous wealth <v Speaker>from Mexico and Peru. Spanish conquistadors look north <v Speaker>in fifteen thirty nine, and Nando de Soto lands an armed <v Speaker>expeditionary force in Florida.
<v Speaker>His search for riches leads him as far north as the Carolinas <v Speaker>and in the warm summer months of 15 40. <v Speaker>He crosses into Alabama. <v Speaker>Neither do so many of his men survived the hostile wilderness <v Speaker>to make the sea voyage home. <v Speaker>Two years later, the remnants of that Grand Expeditionary Force <v Speaker>strangled their way to the Gulf of Mexico. <v Speaker>Returning Spanish galleons carried no new world treasures. <v Speaker>They brought back a little more than the weary, the wounded. <v Speaker>And the written accounts of a fruitless search. <v Speaker>But the DeSoto journals would have become wealth for another age.
<v Speaker>They provide the first written accounts of southeastern <v Speaker>Indian like. <v Speaker>The Spanish tell of a populous land, a fortified towns and farming villages. <v Speaker>They tell of Indian chiefs of gigantic stature and imperial bearing <v Speaker>and of great warriors so formidable. <v Speaker>They challenge De Soto's well armed forces in battle. <v Speaker>Yet De Soto did not encounter Indian society at the height of its <v Speaker>power. He missed that peak by perhaps a century or more. <v Speaker>Around eight hundred eighteen. <v Speaker>The heart of the Mississippi River Valley gave birth to a culture so compelling <v Speaker>that it would spread its influence throughout the eastern woodlands. <v Speaker>How it came to Alabama, whether by massive invasion or gradual evolution, <v Speaker>is unknown. But once it took root, it blossomed into a magnificent
<v Speaker>chiefdom. <v Speaker>Commanded the BlackBerry River Valley and spawned a major cultural <v Speaker>center. <v Speaker>Impressive. Even now, the largest town in prehistoric Alabama <v Speaker>once housed a resident population of some 3000. <v Speaker>Located in the present day town of martinville. <v Speaker>The 20 berthon pyramids, which markets landscape were bases <v Speaker>or platforms built council houses? <v Speaker>The homes of nobles under 300 acres which lay within the stockade <v Speaker>line, there were marketplaces, public plazas, game ports <v Speaker>and made lakes. <v Speaker>There was wealth here, tremendous wealth and power. <v Speaker>Its source was the rich, loamy soil of the River Valley.
<v Speaker>Beans and squash. <v Speaker>Were the objects of intensive cultivation and the staples of large scale <v Speaker>food production. <v Speaker>With the Mississippian culture came a new and efficient economic system based <v Speaker>on agriculture, hunting and fishing continued, as did the gathering <v Speaker>of nuts, fruits and shellfish. <v Speaker>But it was man's farming efforts which yielded food surpluses large <v Speaker>enough to support a substantial population. <v Speaker>This population, including Mountain Bill and the outlying hamlets surrounding the <v Speaker>city proper, may have been as large as ten thousand. <v Speaker>Dr. Joseph Overvote. <v Speaker>Many people come to Mount Steve Monument, see the Indian mounds there <v Speaker>and think that's all there is.
<v Speaker>In fact, Malvo was an important center for communities which <v Speaker>were scattered throughout the black Warrier Valley. <v Speaker>The society throughout the area was organized on Kinne lines. <v Speaker>That is, every member of the society could trace some sort of relationship <v Speaker>to every other member of the chiefdom. <v Speaker>And with this relationships came a set of mutual obligations <v Speaker>and responsibilities. <v Speaker>Rank was achieved in relationship to the social <v Speaker>distance between one individual and the princely or the chiefly <v Speaker>hierarchies are. <v Speaker>The society itself was organized along the lines of a three tiered chiefdom, <v Speaker>and the way this worked was that at Manville lived the principal chief, <v Speaker>and beneath him were regional chiefs who organize the activities <v Speaker>of a number of villages. <v Speaker>Each of these villages would be headed by a headman who <v Speaker>was closely related to his local regional chief.
<v Speaker>The effectiveness of this system derived from the fact that. <v Speaker>Decisions commands would come down the ladder from principal <v Speaker>chief through regional chief, who would parcel out decisions and commands to the <v Speaker>villages and the villages would reciprocate with goods and services which <v Speaker>were passed back up the system as a result. <v Speaker>Towns were constructed and fortified. <v Speaker>The mounds were erected. <v Speaker>Trade was carried on in. Religious ceremonies were held. <v Speaker>Both the economy and the society of the Mississippi and chiefdom were supported <v Speaker>by elaborate religious ceremony. <v Speaker>Exactly how the religion was expressed is unknown, but it provided the <v Speaker>stimulus for the construction of the mounds and the creation of elaborate works of <v Speaker>art.
<v Speaker>The pottery produced by the mound build artisans was among the finest <v Speaker>on the continent, mussel shell was crushed and added to the clay <v Speaker>as a tempering agent. <v Speaker>The ceramics which resulted was strong, fine grain, thin walled <v Speaker>and heat resistant. <v Speaker>Playing bowls and pots were probably for everyday use, but <v Speaker>vessels constructed for nobility offer ritual more the mark of the <v Speaker>artist. <v Speaker>Jaws were etched with elaborate designs and made into a variety <v Speaker>of effigy shapes.
<v Speaker>These designs, though abstract, were rooted in nature, a common motif <v Speaker>is this some circle and the cross. <v Speaker>The circle is thought to be part of the worship of the sun as source of heat and light. <v Speaker>The cross appears to divide the world into its four quarters, and together <v Speaker>the designs symbolize the fire sun God. <v Speaker>The power of this creator was a book with another symbol <v Speaker>the hand and the eye. <v Speaker>This and I symbol's was sometimes associated with an animal for <v Speaker>an image of A God animal B the eagle. <v Speaker>The turkey, the woodpecker and is on this stone pallet, <v Speaker>the twine snake. <v Speaker>When the snake was feathered or plumed similar to the @Stake God,
<v Speaker>what's a colotl? <v Speaker>The images is thought to have a vote power served as a symbol of war. <v Speaker>Despite the masterful skill of the artists, the mounds are Mississippian <v Speaker>Society's most striking legacy. <v Speaker>Majestic, even after centuries of decay, they stand mute <v Speaker>sentinels of another age. <v Speaker>Silent symbols of the power exerted by one of the largest chiefdoms in <v Speaker>North America. <v Speaker>Remarkable in size. The mounds were time consuming, but simple to construct. <v Speaker>A small mound would be built and a structure placed on top <v Speaker>after a certain period of time or after the inhabitants had died.
<v Speaker>The structure would be destroyed and new earth piled on the ruins, raising <v Speaker>and enlarging the mound. <v Speaker>As many as ten building phases have been recognized in some mountains. <v Speaker>Though most of the mounds range in height from twelve to fifteen feet, <v Speaker>the Temple Mount the largest. <v Speaker>Stands over 60 feet high and contains more than 4 million <v Speaker>cubic feet of earth until the Missouri River dams were built in the 1950s. <v Speaker>The mounds were the largest earthen structures in North America. <v Speaker>An economy based on intensive agriculture and administered by <v Speaker>a strong social structure allowed an exotic society to grow <v Speaker>and flourish. <v Speaker>Norvel chiefs exercised authority over an area larger than <v Speaker>the modern state of Rhode Island.
<v Speaker>Priests and shamans offered tribute to the gods in elaborate ceremonies. <v Speaker>Beautiful works of art or shape and competitive games played <v Speaker>in spacious plazas. <v Speaker>Yet in an historically brief span of perhaps a hundred <v Speaker>years, this industrious society was gone. <v Speaker>And the busy center is abandoned and citing. <v Speaker>What event could have caused such far reaching upheaval? <v Speaker>There was no plague which felled the people. <v Speaker>No battle which laid waste to the town. <v Speaker>It was the culture itself. <v Speaker>Mississippian society contained and nurtured the seeds of its own destruction.
<v Speaker>Dr. Joseph Vogel. <v Speaker>We do know the Mississippi economy was based upon the <v Speaker>intensive production of maize and other farm products and <v Speaker>that the society was formed to facilitate the flow of goods and services <v Speaker>throughout the area. <v Speaker>Prestige status was achieved by being <v Speaker>a close relative of one of the chiefly lineages, <v Speaker>and as a result people contributed their goods, their services, their labor <v Speaker>in order to enhance their their family prestige <v Speaker>and status. In time, though, in this sort of kin based society, <v Speaker>the population grows. <v Speaker>Fewer and fewer people have a direct relationship <v Speaker>or a close relationship to the chiefly lineage of Manville. <v Speaker>Now more and more people begin to find themselves estranged at the same
<v Speaker>time bureaucratic cost. <v Speaker>The administrative costs of running the society become much greater as the as the <v Speaker>area in closed becomes greater. <v Speaker>As a result of which goods services that are flowing up <v Speaker>are not reciprocated or not returned at the same rate that they were earlier. <v Speaker>More and more of these costs are being absorbed by the central bureaucracy. <v Speaker>As a result, over a period of time, as people find themselves strange from <v Speaker>the status, from the prestige of being close relative <v Speaker>of over. Chiefly a person, <v Speaker>they begin to look to people closer at home. <v Speaker>People with with chiefly ambitions of their own who are able to reinstitute <v Speaker>the redistribution, this flow of goods and services again. <v Speaker>And as a result, there's a breakdown. <v Speaker>The flow of goods and services into into the central capital at <v Speaker>Manville started to break down. The people there were no longer able to sustain
<v Speaker>the same level or intensity of quality of life that they had been <v Speaker>before. Small towns now begin to take on. <v Speaker>More prestige, more status, and Mount Vill began to shrink to the level of one <v Speaker>of these smaller towns in time, the Black Worry Valley was organized around <v Speaker>these petty these smaller chiefdoms. <v Speaker>It was a less dramatic turn of events than some catastrophic act of God <v Speaker>or man. It was effective. <v Speaker>Nonetheless, society became simplified and a period <v Speaker>of elaborate cultural expression ended. <v Speaker>What new society might have developed from the remnants of Mississippian culture? <v Speaker>We can only guess for the arrival of De Soto. <v Speaker>Signal the beginnings of European exploration and settlement. <v Speaker>Which would thrust the Indians onto the stage of history and change
<v Speaker>their destiny for ever. <v Speaker>From the time the paleo punter first set foot in North America, <v Speaker>the story of the prehistoric Indians is one of challenge, invention, and adaptation. <v Speaker>We know only the barest outline of the story. <v Speaker>We must base our knowledge on those things. <v Speaker>The Indians lost or left behind the stone to. <v Speaker>The remains of man himself.
<v Speaker>It is these things which capture our imagination and lead us to <v Speaker>a better understanding of the complex and successful cultures. <v Speaker>Which for centuries have been lost in time.
Lost in Time
Producing Organization
Auburn University. Educational Television Department
Committee for the Humanities in Alabama
Alabama Public Television
Contributing Organization
The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia (Athens, Georgia)
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Program Description
"LOST IN TIME is a one-hour documentary on southeastern prehistory. The program begins with the Great Ice Age, showing man's probable migration route from Asia, across the North American continent to what is now the southeastern United States. It tells the story of these prehistoric Indians and their cultures from the earliest Paleo hunter bands to the complex, sophisticated society of the Mississippian Indians who built the great mounds of the Black Warrior River Valley. Techniques of early man's survival are presented and demonstrated, archaeologists actively working in the field are interviewed, and sites inhabited by Indians as long ago as 7000 B.C. are visited."--1983 Peabody Awards entry form.
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Producing Organization: Auburn University. Educational Television Department
Producing Organization: Committee for the Humanities in Alabama
Producing Organization: Alabama Public Television
AAPB Contributor Holdings
The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia
Identifier: cpb-aacip-42dcfb9c5a0 (Filename)
Format: U-matic
Duration: 0:59:00
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Chicago: “Lost in Time,” 1983-12-14, The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 26, 2022,
MLA: “Lost in Time.” 1983-12-14. The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 26, 2022. <>.
APA: Lost in Time. Boston, MA: The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from