Plummets, public ceremonies, and interaction networks during the Woodland period in Florida

Victor D. Thompson, Thomas J. Pluckhahn, Matthew H. Colvin, Justin Cramb, Katharine G. Napora, Jacob Lulewicz, Brandon T. Ritchison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Regional exchange during the Woodland period in Eastern North America manifested itself in a variety of material forms, most notably in the wide distribution of elaborate artifacts dispersed as part of Hopewellian related trade. In this paper, we examine the role that one particular class of artifact, plummets, played in interaction during the Woodland period in Florida. We suggest that such artifacts, often interpreted as fishing gear, instead were items of personal adornment and magic, and thus important in community public rituals and ceremonies. As such, they serve as useful indicators of regional and macro-regional exchanges among varying communities. By tracking the different styles and material types found at sites in Florida through a typological and network analysis, we argue that certain sites, such as Crystal River, played a larger role in connecting sub-regions in Florida, and may have served as cultural brokers across the macro-region due to their connections to Hopewell sites throughout the Eastern Woodlands. Furthermore, it appears that such connections were limited in time and given the prominence of plummets buried with certain individuals, we suggest that specific places and persons were entwined with some of these larger scale processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)193-206
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Anthropological Archaeology
StatePublished - Dec 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • American Southeast
  • Florida, Interaction
  • Gateway community
  • Plummets
  • Woodland period

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Archaeology
  • History
  • Archaeology

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