Embodying the Sacred: Temporal Changes in the Cosmological Function of Art and Symbolism in the Mississippian Period, AD 1250-1400
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From A.D. 1250–1400, the archaeological sites of Etowah, Georgia and Lake Jackson, Florida were the capitals of two distinct chiefdoms that participated in a shared system of ideology known as the Southeastern Ceremonial Complex. This research paper uses archaeological methods to realign the chronology at each site. Changing to a theoretical approach, this paper demonstrates that the authority of the ruling class at both sites was related to the ideology of the supernatural being known as the Cult-Bringer. When these theories are applied to the artifact assemblages, there is a strong indication that long distance trade was dominated by the Wilbanks Phase Etowah polity until it was destroyed by warfare. After the fall of Etowah in AD 1375, the Lake Jackson polity abandoned the Cult-Bringer ideology.