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Culture history cont'd

The initiation of social complexity, in the Woodland stage, is marked by the presence of ceramics, settled residence and the adoption of maize horticulture. Here, the culture-history modal begins to fracture. Terms involving "Early", "Middle" and "Late" are used as cultural names rather than chronological divisions, and authors often fail to discuss the reasons for these divisions or the degree to which they actually represent historic events mirrored in material culture rather than convenient breaks (often represented by informational gaps) in an implied but unvalidated chronological sequence.

One chapter which is not present - perhaps no one can write it yet, but someone should try - is a picture of the way in which the Ontario Iroquois Tradition, which is central to the Green Bible's structure, interacted with the contemporary Western Basin Tradition which extends over the United States borders into Ohio and Michigan.

Murphy and Ferris' comments on the current status of the Western Basin Tradition in Ontario offer an honest attempt to fairly summarize this hotly contested issue. Unfortunately, their presentation, with a totally inadequate map and many obscure references to county names, is more likely to confuse than enlighten the general reader.

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