SEPTEMBER 2018: Dr. Thomas J. Pluckhahn, Professor, Dept of Anthropology at USF

New Histories of Village Life at Crystal River

Today, more than half of the earth’s 7 billion people live in cities, and we take the benefits—and challenges—of urban life as a given. But the vast majority of human history was lived in communities of much smaller size. For social and biological scientists, the decision our ancestors made to begin living in larger communities is part of the larger puzzle of the evolution of cooperation: why and how did individuals choose to subsume their self-interests to those of larger social groups?

The transition to village life began some 10,000 years ago in the Middle East. In eastern North America, villages became common in the Woodland period, from around 1000 BC to AD 1050. Among the more prominent of these was the village that developed at the famous Crystal River site, north of Tampa. Recent research at Crystal River contributes to our understanding of the way villages form, grow, and eventually dissolve.

Dr. Pluckhahn recently published Histories of Village Life at Crystal River (2018)

This program is sponsored by the Central Gulf Coast Archaeological Society, and the Alliance for Weedon Island Archaeological Research and Education.