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Traders and Travelers


The artistry of the moundbuilders, perhaps reaching a zenith in 1000-1500 A.D., is especially apparent in luxury goods for the wealthy, many of which they took to the grave.

These objects were used as gifts to enhance one's social and political status, as ceremonial or religious symbols, as a means to represent social values, and as a way for political leaders to signify their position or bestow position on others.

The era's pottery blossomed with new ideas: long-necked water jugs, round-bottomed pots, and other forms suggesting Mexican influence. Painted vessels, rare for this period in the east, sometimes appear in sites from late in the era.

Graphic image of a reconstructed, elaborately decorated  pottery jug.
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Pottery Jug found at a mound site on private property in Arkansas by C.B. Moore, a wealthy Philadelphia socialite and physician who abandoned medicine and traversed the southeast in a steamboat, conducting some of the most significant excavations of the time. Journal of the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences, 1909.