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THE LATE ARCHAIC PERIOD IN SOUTHERN NEW ENGLAND

by Dena F. Dincauze
Arctic Anthropology ()

Abstract

Recent discoveries and current interpretations bearing on the Late Arcdhaic period (5000 to 3000 B.P.) are reviewed and discussed. Several distinct models for the culture history of the period are summarized; comparisons indicate problems with each. The evidence for the "Laurentian" tradition in southern New England is reconsidered; complexes so identified are atypical in terns of the ususal definitions of Laurentian. It is recommended that use of the term "Laurentian" in references to southern New England complexes be discontinued, and that interpretations associated with it be revised. Burial ceremonialism of the Late Archaic traditions is considered; recent finds are summarized and new interpretations presented. None of the ceremonial burial features in souther New ENgland have definite "Laurentian" affiliations. Comparisons are drawn within southern New England and, to the north, in Maine. Considerations is given to the social functions of the burial ceremonialism. The complexity of the social environments hypothesized for this period may partially explain the florescence of the cults.

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