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The Moundbuilders: Ancient Peoples of Eastern North America (Ancient Peoples and Places) Paperback – April 17, 2005

4.4 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A readable overview of the complex prehistoric cultures of the eastern United states . . . succeeds on several levels. Gorgeous color illustrations . . . are among the finest published presentations of these objects."

About the Author

George R. Milner is Professor of Anthropology at Pennsylvania State University. His previous books include The Cahokia Chiefdom: The Archaeology of a Mississippian Society.
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Product Details

  • Series: Ancient Peoples and Places
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson (April 17, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0500284687
  • ISBN-13: 978-0500284681
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.8 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #256,926 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By R. Albin TOP 1000 REVIEWER on November 23, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This is a very good introduction to the peoples who left behind the impressive mounds in eastern North America. This book is pitched at an undergraduate level. Milner provides a chronologically arranged review of the prehistory of eastern North America. He sticks closely to the archeaology of sites and is careful to avoid speculation beyond what the often modest evidence provides. Milner is a workmanlike writer who does a solid job of describing excavations and their probable significance. The illustrations are very good and there is anice appendix describing sites that can be visited. Deficiencies of this book are that there is relatively little discussion of why cultures changed. Were there climactic factors? Some comparisons with other evolving cultures of the Americas could have been enlightening.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A good general reference, with well placed illustrations, maps and photographs. This book gives an overview of the ancient cultures grounded in archeology without too much extrapolation and dramatization on the part of the author about how people thought or acted.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I know George Milner and wanted to read his thoughts on the development of eastern North American prehistoric culture history. I liked the book since he expressed many of the underlying thoughts I have had on the subject and he was able to express them very eloquently.
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Format: Paperback
Having visited Cahokia and Moundsville in West Virginia, I was looking for books with other potential sites to visit and this book was very informative and I am looking forward to visiting other sites in Ohio, in particular.
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Lots os info very well presented. Used as a reference when traveling. I also give it five stars because how much info is out there really in a comprehensive package? I noticed they were selling it at the Serpent Mound Gift Shop.
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Format: Paperback
If you want to know more about the mound-builders of the Ohio valley, don't read this book.

I rate this 2 stars because it is well written. Some of the details of the digs were OK. I bought this book while on tour of some of these sights. I am a retired aerospace engineer and I found the academic style of writing to be outdated and boring.

Page 74, "One way to provide a taste of the rich diversity in earthwork shapes and sizes is to discuss them in terms of three categories: small circles; large circles, squares, and other shapes; and hilltop enclosures..." Not much information coming from this statement of the three shapes:round, squares and other. The author mentions Squire and Davis but never shows their work. Why not? Is this not a survey of mounds? On page 76 the author mentioned highly irregular hilltop enclosures without photos, or anything from Squire and Davis survey. Then on the same page the author states, "...and sometimes they ringed entire hilltops, including the huge Fort Ancient earthwork in Southwestern Ohio that enclosed about 125 acres..." Page 77 has photos of flatland small mounds for some unknown reason while talking about hilltop "forts?". Page 78 continues to talk about these hilltops enclosures. These hilltop enclosures and those with burned out pushed over wooden palisades are most likely sights of great violence. If an anthropologist can stand inside a fort and not understand what may have gone on "back in the day", what else is he missing?

Go visit some of these earthen sights, they are much more interesting than this book would hint at. In fact, there is much more controversy surrounding these mounds than the author has admitted and the controversies are lots of fun.
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Format: Paperback
Husband very much enjoyed this book about the Mississippi moundbuilders and the location of existing mounds for some day trips
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