2019 Choice Outstanding Academic Title Published through the Recovering Languages and Literacies of the Americas initiative, supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. In Clues to Lower Mississippi Valley Histories David V. Kaufman offers a stunning relational analysis of social, cultural, and linguistic change in the Lower Mississippi Valley from 500 to 1700. He charts how linguistic evidence aids the understanding of earlier cultural and social patterns, traces the diaspora of indigenous peoples, and uncovers instances of human migration. Historical linguistics establishes evidence of contact between indigenous peoples in the linguistic record where other disciplinary approaches have obscured these connections. The Mississippi Valley is the heartland of early North American civilizations. The region is a rich and diversified center of transportation for every part of eastern North America and to Mesoamerica. The Lower Mississippi Valley region emerged as the home of the earliest mound-building societies in the Americas and was home to some of the most impressive kingdoms encountered by Spanish and French explorers. The languages of the region provide the key to the realities experienced by these indigenous peoples, their histories, and their relationships. Clues to Lower Mississippi Valley Histories focuses on relationships that constitute what linguists call a sprachbund (language union), or language area. Kaufman illuminates and articulates these linguistic relationships through a skillful examination of archaeological and ethnohistorical data.Clues to Lower Mississippi Valley Histories examines the relationship between linguistics and archaeology to elucidate the early history of the Lower Mississippi Valley.