Indian Knoll

  • Author(s): Webb, William S.
  • Series:
  • Imprint: Univ Tennessee Press
  • Publication Date: 0000-00-00
  • Status: Active
  • Available in Paper: Price $32.00 | Buy Now

With the reprinting of William S. Webb’s Indian Knoll, students of archaeology again have available a classic work on the life and death of a fascinating culture. For the report does much to enhance out understanding of the Archaic, and its author (1882-1964) stands as a pivotal figure in the development of a disciplined and scientific approach to New World archaeology.

The legacy of Webb’s contributions is indeed great. Little had been written about Archaic sites prior to the reports by Webb and his associates on Indian Knoll, on other sites of the Indian Knoll Culture along Green River and Cypress Creek in Kentucky, and on numerous prepottery sites in the Tennessee Valley. Webb’s publications have remained the principal sources on Archaic shell middens in mid-America, and constitute the largest and most comprehensive corpus of excavation derived data on Archaic sites in all of eastern North America. In addition, Webb deals with a number of special topics – the functional analysis of artifacts and the identification of raw materials sources – which are vitally important as antecedents of contemporary research. Such reports as Indian Knoll furnish valuable information on subsistence and settlement patterns; furthermore, they are extremely useful in rethinking the notion of the Archaic as a developmental stage.

Besides supplying significant data, Webb did much to raise the standards of archaeological reporting. In Indian Knoll and other reports, he exhibited a marked degree of sophistication and utilized an interdisciplinary approach by incorporating the analyses of other subject specialties.