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The Adena People: Moundbuilders of Kentucky

This video presents an archaeological irony: archaeologists know more about the ceremonial life of the Adena People, a prehistoric hunting-gathering-gardening group that lived in central and northern Kentucky about 2,000 years ago, than they do about their daily activities. This is because, explains Berle Clay, archaeologist with Cultural Resource Analysts, Inc., in the past, archaeologists focused their research on the mounds and earthworks that Adena people built; and because Adena people pursued a mobile lifestyle, so their settlements are hard to find. Clay goes on to review what we do know about Adena lifeways, contrasting their culture with that of the later prehistoric farming cultures of Kentucky.

The video shows exquisite footage of Adena burial offerings, such as pottery, mica, and stone tools and mounds from across central and northern Kentucky are pictured, illustrating their diversity. Archival footage of Depression-era mound excavation also is presented; western Kentucky's Wicklliffe Mounds Research Center mural of Mississippian life is shown; and scenes from Daniel Boone National Forest's Living Archaeology Weekend in Powell County depict people making stone tools, pottery, grass mats, and preparing food using traditional tools.


Last Updated 6/6/2008