Towns and ceremonial centers were built near old river or stream channels where the best soil for agriculture was found and there was direct access to water. People also began fortifying their towns and villages with defense structures such as moats.
Populations increase and multi-level societies called chiefdoms replace tribal organizations in many areas
Agriculture becomes more widespread
People began to depend more on agriculture, particularly corn, beans and squash, even though hunting and gathering continued (Hudson, 1976).
Pyramid-like earthen mounds, such as Emerald Mound in Adams County, are the best-known characteristic of this time period
Baskets of dirt were carried to the desired location. The dirt was dumped out and then stamped down to pack it in place. The sides of the mounds were usually very steep, and an earthen ramp was added to the mound for easier access to the summit.
Larger sites are used for ceremonial purposes
The chief and other higher status families lived within the mounds while the majority of the population lived in large fortified villages outside the ceremonial center. In some large ceremonial centers, such as Winterville Mounds north of Greenville, several mounds surround a central plaza. This plaza was used as a village commons, playing field or ceremonial area (Hudson, 1976).
The Carson Site in Coahoma County was one of the largest mound centers in North America having up to eighty-nine mounds
Still under investigation, the site had numerous houses, refuse pits, and stockades surrounding portions of it, along with numerous burials. All but about six of the larger mounds have been plowed away.
People make a variety of pottery mixing crushed shell into the clay to temper it, or stop it from cracking
Bowls, bottles, jars, pans and other vessel types were plain or could be highly decorated. Bottles, a vessel type common only to this period, would often be designed to resemble a person, animal or mythological creature. Archaeologists refer to these as effigy pots.