The Importance of Squier and Davis’ Ancient Monuments of the Mississippi Valley to the Modern Archaeological Approach

Steven Dorland


This paper critically assesses the work of Squier and Davis through a critical lens. Their contribution to the modern archaeological approach will be analyzed by looking at their methodologies, such as stratigraphy and dendrochronology, to understand the mound-builder cultures. This paper also analyzes more modern day theoretical approaches that have been adopted by later works of Boaz and Clark, who were influential in developing the culture-history approach and the structural and ecological functionalist approach respectively. A number of their methods are still being used to understand some of the archaeological questions regarding the cultures of the American Southeast. This paper’s aim is to appreciate and credit the contribution to modern archaeology illustrated in Squier and Davis' Ancient Monuments of the Mississippi Valley. 

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