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Mississippian Period Settlement in the Southern Piedmont: Evidence from the Rucker's Bottom Site, Elbert County, Georgia

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Multidisciplinary investigations at a small fourteenth and fifteenth century Mississippian village in northeastern Georgia are summarized. Changes in village organization, subsistence, and relative population health are evident over the approximately two centuries of occupation. These changes-the appearance of fortifications, a more focused subsistence economy, and a moderate improvement in overall skeletal health-appear linked to a pattern of both increasing political centralization, and increasing intensive use of agriculture in the upper Savannah River area.