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Shvoong Home>Arts & Humanities>Poverty Point Culture Summary

Poverty Point Culture

Book Summary   by:likelyculprit     Original Author: J Ward
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The Poverty Point Culture is an
archeological culture located in the Lower Mississippi Valley. The people of this culture probably lived
approximately between 1730 B.C. and 1350 B.C.
Aspects of this culture have been found from the present connection of
the Mississippi and Arkansas Rivers all the way as far south as the coast of
the Gulf of Mexico. The culture itself
is identified by characteristic artifacts found in the area and by the rocks
used to make these artifacts. There are
many types of artifacts that have been found to characterize the Poverty Point
culture. These include artifacts that
are hand-molded or baked and artifacts which are chipped stone tools. The hand-made objects include such things as
cooking equipment, pottery, and stone vessels.
The chipped stone tools include even more objects such as spear points,
hoes, drills, adzes, as well as decorative ornaments. All of these artifacts help archeologists to define and
characterize the Poverty Point Culture and the people of this culture. Radiocarbon dating of these artifacts also
helped determine the time frame of this culture.


The Poverty Point site
itself was extremely important to trade relations in the Lower Mississippi
Valley. In fact it is because the
Poverty Point site was so important that it became necessary to distinguish the
Poverty Point culture from the other cultures that existed at that time. It was the trade business of the Poverty
Point site that set it apart from both earlier and later societies. Evidence showed that when this site was at
its peak, trade in the area also flourished, but when the site was abandoned,
trade diminished. Much of what is known
about the Poverty Point culture is learned from the trade materials and
artifacts found at the Poverty Point site.
Since the culture is only defined from inferring information from the
artifacts, it is hard to distinguish any social or political patterns of the
culture. However this does provide us
with representation of the technology used at this time as well as a general
economic feeling of the culture. So
although many groups may have been classified as being from the Poverty Point
culture, it is likely that they were unrelated or politically independent. In fact they may not have even spoken the
same languages. But this culture is
more a description of the technology that these groups used, and technology is
not confined to individual groups of people
Published: August 31, 2005   
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