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Southern Cult - Southeastern Ceremonial Complex

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Etowah Mound B, Georgia, Mississippian Civilization

Etowah Mound B, Georgia, Mississippian Civilization

Kare Thor Olsen
Definition:

The Southeastern Ceremonial Complex (also known as the Southern Cult) is the name given to a broad, regional similarity of artifacts, iconography, ceremonies and mythology of the Mississippian period between about AD 1000 and 1600.

Southern Cult objects and symbols have been found at sites throughout the American southeast; west to Arkansas, Texas, and Oklahoma; and up into the lower Mississippi and Ohio rivers. Clearly something was going on: embossed copper, engraved marine shell, stone figures, and the mysterious underwater panther are all representative of this pan-continental movement.

Sources

This article is a part of the About.com Guide to the Mississippian Civilization, and part of the Dictionary of Archaeology.

Brose, David S.1989 From the Southeastern Ceremonial Complex to the Southern Cult: "You can't tell the players without a program". In The Southeastern Ceremonial Complex: artifacts and analysis. P. Galloway, ed. Pp. 27-37. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.

Brown, James A. 1976 The Southern Cult reconsidered. Midcontinental Journal of Archaeology 11:15-135.

Knight, Vernon J. Jr. 1986 The institutional organization of Mississippian religion. American Antiquity 51(4):675-687.

Muller, Jon. 1989 The Southern Cult. In The Southeastern Ceremonial Complex: artifacts and analysis. P. Galloway, ed. Pp. 11-26. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.

Also Known As: Southeast Ceremonial Complex, Southern Cult, sometimes abbreviated as SECC
Examples:
Lake Jackson Mounds, Florida; Etowah, Georgia; Spiro Mounds, Oklahoma; Crable site, Illinois; Castalian Springs, Tennessee, to name just a few.
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