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Monacan Millennium

A Collaborative Archaeology and History of a Virginia Indian People
Jeffrey L. Hantman

BUY Cloth · 232 pp. · 5.5 × 8.5 · ISBN 9780813941479 · $29.50 · Oct 2018
BUY Ebook · 232 pp. · ISBN 9780813941486 · $29.50 · Oct 2018

While Jamestown and colonial settlements dominate narratives of Virginia’s earliest days, the land’s oldest history belongs to its native people. Monacan Millennium tells the story of the Monacan Indian people of Virginia, stretching from 1000 A.D. through the moment of colonial contact in 1607 and into the present.

Written from an anthropological perspective and informed by ethnohistory, archaeology, and indigenous tribal perspectives, this comprehensive study reframes the Chesapeake’s early colonial period—and its deep precolonial history—by viewing it through a Monacan lens. Shifting focus to the Monacans, Hantman reveals a group whose ritual practices bespeak centuries of politically and culturally dynamic history. This insightful volume draws on archeology, English colonial archives, Spanish sources, and early cartography to put the Monacans back on the map. By examining representations of the tribe in colonial, postcolonial, and contemporary texts, the author fosters a dynamic, unfolding understanding of who the Monacan people were and are.


"In this engaging, provocative, and highly readable book, Hantman forces the reader to question received wisdom about icons of American history and conveys the vivid history of a people and a place."

Martin D. Gallivan, William and Mary, author of James River Chiefdoms: The Rise of Social Inequality in the Chesapeake (Our Sustainable Future)

"The culmination of more than two decades of collaborative research, Monacan Millennium presents important new data and fresh insights with great sensitivity. A significant contribution to indigenous and colonial archaeology."

Patricia E. Rubertone, Brown University, author of Grave Undertakings: An Archaeology of Roger Williams and the Narragansett Indians

About the Author: 

Jeffrey L. Hantman, Professor of Anthropology at the University of Virginia, is the coeditor of Across the Continent: Jefferson, Lewis and Clark, and the Making of America (Virginia).

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