In the 1950s, the Kansas City Hopewell (KCH) was modeled as a phenomenon originating from a migration of people or diffusion of ideas from Middle Woodland Hopewell communities in Illinois, a model that greatly influenced subsequent research. Two lines of evidence were instrumental in the formation of this model: ceramics and chronology. This study presents the results of 24 newly obtained accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) dates associated with a typological analysis of ceramics from three KCH sites, plus Early Woodland sherds from several regional sites. The results indicate that the KCH developed in part from local Early Woodland populations (ca. 500–1 BC) and was chronologically equivalent to Havana Hopewell in Illinois (ca. 100 BC–AD 400). Early and Middle Woodland ceramics also share affinities with types in regions to the north, south, and east of Kansas City, indicating that KCH origins and interactions were more multiregional and complex than the traditional model suggests.

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