Painted Ceramic Bottle, found at Moundville, circa AD 1300-1450. This style originated in the Tennessee Valley.
Moundville’s Contact with
Other Mississippian Sites
Interestingly, Moundville not only imported high status objects from other Mississippian sites and regions but used other regional styles in their ceramics. Recent chemical test o some ceramics excavated from Moundville have proven that some of the vessels that look foreign (from other regions) were actually made here with local Moundville clay. Some archaeologists have suggested that these non-local styles made at Moundville provide evidence that people from distant chieftdoms, possibly speaking a variety of languages, may have settled here or married into Moundville society bringing their artistic traditions with them.
Pipes and Tobacco at Moundville
Tobacco smoking has been a critical component of native social and ritual life since as long ago as 3000 BC, long before Moundville emerged. Ethnographic sources illustrate that tobacco smoke was an essential component in contracting the supernatural world. Tobacco could be mixed with other medicinal plants, such as willow bark and sumac leaves. At Moundville, smoking pipes take several different forms. They are made from clay and stone. The pipe forms in this case illustrate not only that pipes were made at Moundville, but were also imported from other stylistic regions across the Southeast.
Black Noded Pipe, stone, foreign style found Moundville, circa AD 1300-1450. Courtsey of the national Museum of the American Indian,, Smithsonian Institution, Cat No. 170895.
Bird Effigy Pipe, stone, foreign style found at Moundville, circa AD 1300-1450.
Incised Globular Pipe, limestone, Moundville, circa AD 1300-1450.
Calumet Pipe, stone, foreign style at Moundville, circa AD 1300-1450.
Bird Effigy Pipe, sandstone, Moundville, circa AD 1300-1450.
Incised Elbow pipe, clay Moundville,, circa AD 1300-1450.
Ceramic Elbow Pipe, Moundville, circa AD 1100-1450.
Pipe Fragment, clay, Moundville,, circa AD 1100-1450.
Human Effigy Bowl, AD 1300-1450
Bat Effigy Bowl with Incised Wings, circa AD 1300-1450
Duck Effigy Bowl, AD 1300-1450
Copy from museum display with photos by Jan Riser.