Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version



Published in Great Plains Research, 18:2 (Fall 2008). Copyright © 2008 Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln


This volume, edited by Stanley A. Ahler and Marvin Kay, consists of19 contributions by 21 authors. It is not a synthetic overview of the Plains Villages, but an eclectic sampling of the breadth and depth of recent archaeological research and interpretations-case studies focus on topics including origins, warfare, trade and interaction, symbolism, settlement and social organization, subsistence and risk, and others. Such studies are daunting undertakings as the ruins of a single house, indeed the contents of a single refuse pit, may produce thousands of specimens to interpret. Plains village archaeological sites, fragile and vulnerable, have been destroyed by dam building, agriculture, strip mining, roads, and suburban sprawl to an extent unanticipated fifty years ago. Funding for investigation in the same interval has dwindled, to the extent that one contributor self-funded the research he reports.