Gods of Thunder: How Climate Change, Travel, and Spirituality Reshaped Precolonial America

Research output: Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook

Abstract

The earth’s climate warmed from the ninth through the thirteenth centuries ce. Named the Medieval Warm Period, these centuries were a time of great historical change in precolonial North America, as evidenced through archaeology. While scholars have previously suggested the existence of long-distance ties between the civilizations of Mesoamerica, the American Southwest, and the Mississippi valley, no one until now has argued that climate change and religion—not trade—were the reasons for these far-flung connections. The book argues that a common supernatural being, the Wind-That-Brings-Rain or Thunderer god, emerged because of climatic factors to drive the development of a series of interrelated religious movements across the continent. These movements were based around a common circular shrine or pyramid in or on which people worshiped the powers of the wind and rain—the essential life-giving forces of global climate.
Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780197645130
ISBN (Print)9780197645109
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2023

Keywords

  • hydroclimate
  • thunder
  • gods
  • Indigenous
  • America
  • archaeology
  • religion
  • medieval

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