Writing about a powerful Native American society at the dawn of European contact, Marvin Smith, in a colorfully illustrated book, traces the rise and collapse of the chiefdom of Coosa, located in the Ridge and Valley province of northwestern Georgia and adjacent states.
From humble beginnings, Coosa became one of the most important chiefdoms in the Southeast, dominating a territory from present eastern Tennessee to central Alabama. Following contact with three Spanish expeditions in the sixteenth century, Coosa began its rapid descent. Disease, population movements, political collapse, and changes in subsistence and technology enveloped the population in the ensuing years. By the beginning of the eighteenth century, the once powerful chiefdom had been reduced to a few towns in the Creek Confederacy.
Explaining for the first time this remarkable demise, Smith blends historical and archaeological evidence to tell the complex story. Written for a general interest audience and generously illustrated with color and black-and-white photos, Coosa also will be a valuable reference work for the study of the material culture of the contact period.