Mississippian Multiscalar Geographies of Fertility in Southeast Missouri

Authors: Toni Alexander*, Southeast Missouri State University, Jennifer Bengtson, Southeast Missouri State University
Topics: Cultural Geography, Gender, Indigenous Peoples
Keywords: Fertility, Archaeology, Embodiment
Session Type: Virtual Poster
Day: 4/10/2021
Start / End Time: 4:40 PM / 5:55 PM
Room: Virtual 51
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Human experiences occur within and link together places at multiple spatial scales, and this poster explores the mutual benefit of geographical and archaeological perspectives for exploring such linkages in the context of fertility. Inspired by archaeological work by Claassen and Joyce on engendered landscapes and embodiment, we delve into the human geography literature for further theoretical guidance and inspiration in our consideration of Mississippian women’s sense and use of place and space in their biological, emotional, cosmological, and ritual experiences of fertility. The Hunze-Evans site in Southeastern Missouri serves as a case study for situating a small Mississippian village within a multi-scalar and embodied geography of fertility—linking women to specific intra-village spaces, to the broader regional landscape, and to even more distant places.

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