Native American societies, often viewed as unchanging, in fact experienced a rich process of cultural innovation in the millennia prior to recorded history. Societies of the Hocking River Valley in southeastern Ohio, part of the Ohio River Valley, created a tribal organization beginning about 2000 bc.
Edited by Elliot M. Abrams and AnnCorinne Freter, The Emergence of the Moundbuilders: The Archaeology of Tribal Societies in Southeastern Ohio presents the process of tribal formation and change in the region based on analyses of all available archaeological data from the Hocking River Valley. Drawing on the work of scholars in archaeology, anthropology, geography, geology, and botany, the collection addresses tribal society formation through such topics as the first pottery made in the valley, aggregate feasting by nomadic groups, the social context for burying their dead in earthen mounds, the formation of religious ceremonial centers, and the earliest adoption of corn.
Providing the most current research on indigenous societies in the Hocking Valley, The Emergence of the Moundbuilders is distinguished by its broad, comparative overview of tribal life.
Maya architecture is often described as "massive" and "monumental," but experiments at Copan, Honduras, convinced Elliot Abrams that 300 people could have built one of the large palaces there in only 100 days.
In this groundbreaking work, Abrams explicates his theory of architectural energetics, which involves translating structures into volumes of raw and manufactured materials that are then multiplied by the time required for their production and assembly to determine the labor costs of past construction efforts. Applying this method to residential structures of the Late Classic period (A.D. 700-900) at Copan leads Abrams to posit a six-tiered hierarchic social structure of political decision making, ranging from a stratified elite to low-ranking commoners. By comparing the labor costs of construction and other economic activities, he also prompts a reconsideration of the effects of royal construction demands on commoners.
How the Maya Built Their World will interest a wide audience in New and Old World anthropology, archaeology, architecture, and engineering.