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The written s produced by European sources during the early years of the colonial era highlight the actions of Powhatans [1] and Monacans, some of whom competed for wealth, power, and influence. However, evidence of the social changes that produced the figures shaping this political arena has been difficult to recognize in the years leading up to Jamestown. Archaeological patterns apparent in other North American contexts reflecting the centralization of authority in political and ceremonial centers are largely absent from the region. Long-distance exchange networks that conveyed items crafted with sacred connotations played a rather modest role in the Late Woodland Chesapeake, judging from the archaeological evidence.

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In some Eastern Woodlands settings, the appearance of a political economy in which chiefs dominated household production resulted in the absence of subsurface storage pits DeBoerWard With the commencement of the Woodland Period, a greater focus on floodplain locations at the expense of upland sites accompanied settlement patterns entailing increased sedentariness and population density. It is easy to forget the extent to which Native societies exerted control over the field of inter-societal interaction during the early years of the struggling English colonies in Roanoke, Jamestown, and New England Kupperman Dent, Richard J.

The increased occurrence of copper in ossuary burial on the Potomac Neck after A.

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Powhatan economic relations hinged on the complementary production of engendered labor male hunting and female foraging and horticulture that came together in the household, the fundamental unit of production. Feest, Christian F. However, where ethnohistorical s clearly distinguish between ritual practices associated with the burials of Powhatan commoners and chiefs, Coastal Plain mortuary Discrete wives Jamestown generally does not record the clear expression of social differentiation until the Contact Period.

In North Carolina, coastal Algonquian and Iroquoian groups and Piedmont Siouans paralleled the linguistic contrasts that marked Virginia's early historic cultural landscape Ward and DavisMerrell The consensus view among ethnohistorians involves multiple causes for the emergence of the Powhatan paramountcy, with the hostile threat posed first by the Monacans and later by Europeans playing leading roles e.

Reinhart and M. Documentary s offer critical evidence of this period, though the English narratives are tinged with a colonialist bias. Lacking written or archaeological evidence of this process, some researchers have suggested that trade monopolies among Virginia Algonquians interacting with Piedmont groups resulted in wealth accumulation and social inequality e. Later Powhatan himself sought to establish relations of alliance with the English, pleading with Smith to put aside his weapons since the English and Indians were all "friends and forever Powhatans" Smith d Byfollowing a period of intensive contact between Jamestown colonists and Powhatans, a "great mortality" gripped the Powhatans Strachey caused by an epidemic of probable European origin.

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Conceptually, werowances appear to have shared characteristics of priests, who were socially dead to the Powhatans, and commoners, who participated in life-giving pursuits Williamson The intent of the research is to contribute to an understanding of how social power came to be concentrated within and exercised from Werowocomoco.

Intermittent encounters between Europeans and Virginia Indians occurred throughout the sixteenth-century, with contact after generally ending up violently.

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Central storage of these items occurred in above-ground storehouses constructed by the Mamanatowick and, Djscrete a smaller scale, by werowances. This status helps contextualize the tenor of Powhatan political dynamics circadefined as they were by a fluid tangle of alliances, military threats, and Jajestown hostilities. Cambridge: Hakluyt Society. Turner, E. Mouer, L. During the Protohistoric and Contact periods, though, most villages in the James River Valley lacked storage features altogether, implying the adoption of above ground storage.

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West of the Blue Ridge, Ridge and Valley groups of the Middle Woodland and early Late Woodland centuries produced quartz-tempered Albemarle ceramics similar to those found in the Piedmont Gardner The Monacans' settlement hierarchy and references to the Monacans' own werowances e. This temporal pattern and the overall density of Late Woodland sites in the Piedmont closely Discerte the of settlement studies in the Coastal Plain.

When the English established Jamestown in they settled amidst what researchers have characterized as one of the most complex polities in North America e. By placing himself as an intermediary between the English colonists and Powhatan communities, the Tassantasses mediated the colonial divide just as he mediated structural divisions between priests and commoners within Powhatan society.

Regional archaeological survey in several areas wivws to archaeologists that the Chesapeake's chiefly societies emerged out of a social transition whereby Middle Woodland B.

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MacCord, Howard A. Long-distance exchange networks that conveyed items crafted with sacred connotations played a rather modest role in the Late Woodland Chesapeake, Jsmestown from the archaeological evidence. As detailed in Gallivan's study, evidence from communal and regional spheres suggest the development of a new social setting during the Protohistoric period.

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Nonetheless, through his role in the Protohistoric and Contact Period events that comprise his reign, Powhatan revealed himself as a canny manipulator of both the corporate symbols that were central to Powhatan culture and the exclusionary power that came to dominate the early colonial encounter. The paucity of pre-contact evidence of high status burials may be a product of the Powhatans' practice of placing chiefs in above ground temples which have escaped archaeological detection or the limited sample of excavated pre-contact burials.

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Mooney, James P. In fact, werowances' considerable tribute demands may have induced some domestic groups to conceal corn and other valuables in storage pits in order to avoid tribute payment.

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Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin Such mediation depended in part on the unique historical Diiscrete of the sixteenth century protohistoric period during which Powhatan arose as a political power and the subsequent colonial era when his strategic ties to the English enhanced his status. In short, through their association with palisade construction, elite mortuary ritual, and communal feasting, select villages of the early colonial era became physical landscapes that embodied expressions of sacred and political authority.