History of settlement along the Mississippi River illustrates the fact that the geography of the river is a natural attraction to settlers. Archeological evidence establishes that Native Americans occupied land and developed civilizations along the Mississippi River as early as 10,000 B.C.E. Records show that inhabitants on the river adapted and evolved utilizing the Mississippi River’s geography. For example, archaic sites between the years 8,500 B.C.E. and 600 B.C.E. indicate that there were different types of settlements that served different functions. Professor Larkin explains that there were local camps which had a living function and extractive locations where archeologist found evidence of hunting functions. In addition, James Crutchfield reports in his book, It Happened on the Mississippi River, that prehistoric American Indians, in 700 B.C.E, constructed a “metropolis along the stream’s eastern bank”, now known as Cahokia. Cahokia’s citizens resided in a “four-thousand-acre-town” and in this town there were over one hundred platforms and burial mounds that range from little mounds to mounds that reach one hundred feet high. Inhabitants made their living off the river by “farming the rich bottom lands…fishing the local streams, and hunting in the surrounding forests.” Rich bottom lands, streams and forests are only a few of the many assets that attracted ...
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...t of the region it used to occupy. As a result, the original site of the settlement is not now in Louisiana at all, but on the other side of the river, in the State of Mississippi.” In addition the rivers geographical natural phenomenon’s such as earthquakes and hurricanes have affected its culture. For example the New Madrid earthquake in the year 1811 raised or dropped part of the river by eight feet. Plus, it reversed the flow of the river. Professor Barbara Headle explains that “the Mississippi River is not just a placid landscape. She is an active participant in what happens to residents along her bank.”
The Mississippi River history is a notable example of the relationship between culture and geography. Prehistoric settlement and development along the river has illustrated that while culture affects geography, geography in turn affects culture.
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