Cahokia (Other Keyword)

1-25 (32 Records)

A 1000-Year Record of Cahokia Region Population Change through Fecal Stanol Biomarker Analysis (2017)
DOCUMENT Citation Only AJ White. Lora Stevens. Varenka Lorenzi.

Determining the timing and magnitude of Cahokia’s demographic rise and fall is crucial to understanding the reasons for its advance and collapse. Fecal stanol biomarker analysis is an emergent geoarchaeological method that may provide a more direct record of Cahokia region population change than previous population estimates. This study analyzed sediment from Horseshoe Lake, Illinois for fecal stanol content to establish a population proxy of the Cahokia region. The stanol record indicates...

Another interpretation of Long-Nosed God masks (1991)
DOCUMENT Full-Text Patricia O'Brien.

The following is an interpretation of Long-Nosed God masks. From O'Brien 1991 "Early State Economics: Cahokia, Capital of the Ramey State."

Bioarcheology of the North Central United States (1997)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Douglas W. Owsley. Jerome C. Rose.

This resource is a citation record only, the Center for Digital Antiquity does not have a copy of this document. The information in this record has been migrated into tDAR from the National Archaeological Database Reports Module (NADB-R) and updated. Most NADB-R records consist of a document citation and other metadata but do not have the documents themselves uploaded. If you have a digital copy of the document and would like to have it curated in tDAR, please contact us at

Building Below the Surface: Earth Moving and Caching at Cahokia’s CABB Tract (2017)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Melissa Baltus. Sarah Baires.

Human engagement with the world includes forging and maintaining relationships with social agents, both visible and invisible. Among Native North Americans, these relationships are simultaneously religious, social, and political. We explore these relationships using data from our 2016 excavations at Cahokia’s CABB (Courtyard Area Between Borrows) Tract, located southeast of Woodhenge and west of the Grand Plaza. The CABB Tract is situated north of two known borrow pits (Fowler’s 5-5 and 5-6) and...

Cahokia: City at the Center of the Mississippian Cosmos (2017)
DOCUMENT Citation Only William Romain.

Cahokia stands as the flagship city of the ancient Mississippian world. One of the enduring mysteries concerning Cahokia has been how to account for its skewed orientation and unique layout of its mounds and plazas. What accounts for the site's orientation east of north; and why are the mounds situated where they are? In this presentation I use recently obtained LiDAR imagery together with archaeoastronomic analyses to explore the idea that Cahokia was built according to a grand master plan....

Cahokia’s Western Frontier: Consolidation and Collapse as viewed from the Big River Valley, Missouri (2015)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Christina Friberg. Gregory Wilson.

Cahokia was the largest and most complex pre-Columbian Native American society in North America. Its cultural influence extended throughout the Mississippian period Midwest (A.D. 1050–1400). A diachronic investigation of greater Cahokia from its western periphery provides insight into the polity’s consolidation, fragmentation, and collapse. Cahokian groups appear to have annexed portions of the Big River Valley (BRV) in southeast Missouri as part of the polity’s formational Big Bang. However, by...

The Changing Use of Space in Cahokia’s Urban Epicenter: Archaeological Investigations on the Merrell Tract (2011-2016) (2017)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Immacolata Valese. Davide Domenici.

The paper summarizes the results of six field seasons since 2011 by a joint Italian/American archaeological project on the Merrell Tract 300 meters west of Monks Mound. The extensive excavations, expanding upon the area of Wittry’s 1960 salvage work on Tract 15B, revealed a complex sequence of occupations covering the entire sequence of Cahokia’s history spanning the Edelhardt through Sand Prairie phases. Throughout its history the Merrell Tract experienced important changes: first as a domestic...

Constructing Narratives: archaeology's relationship with the ontological turn at Cahokia (2016)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Sarah Baires.

The goal of archaeology, rigorous in its method and theory, is to reconstruct past practices and events. Our pre-conceptions, knowledge, and training channel our analyses through varying theoretical lenses. These perspectives provide context within which to hypothesize about the past, creating narratives about human relationships with the environment, materials, places, and practices. While these theoretical perspectives add nuance and structure to archaeological analyses they sometimes miss,...

Contextualing Cahokia's Collapse (2016)
DOCUMENT Citation Only John Kelly.

The wide scale abandonment of Mississippian towns in the lower Midwest by the beginning of the fifteenth century has been the focus of interest for the last four decades beginning with the work of Stephen Williams. The largest urban center, Cahokia, is one of the earliest to be abandoned before the end of the fourteenth century. Recent evidence has been presented on a massive flood in the twelfth century as perhaps an important factor in this process, that occurs over a century later. This...

Cosmology in the New World
PROJECT Santa Fe Institute.

This project consists of articles written by members of Santa Fe Institute’s cosmology research group. Overall, the goal of this group is to understand the larger relationships between cosmology and society through a theoretically open-ended, comparative examination of the ancient American Southwest, Southeast, and Mesoamerica.

Experimental Use of 3-D Data to Predict the Risk of Slumping at Monks Mound, Cahokia (2019)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Michael Hargrave. Carey Baxter.

This is an abstract from the "SAA 2019: General Sessions" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology. Monks Mound is the largest prehistoric mound north of Mexico, and is arguably the Cahokia World Heritage Site’s most dramatic monument. Major slumps that occurred in 2007 did significant damage to the mound. Repair of the slumped area revealed a complex stratigraphy, multiple features, and evidence for previous prehistoric and historic slumps. Mounds, like...

Five Decades of Public Archaeology at Cahokia Mounds (2019)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Bill Iseminger.

This is an abstract from the "Archaeology as a Public Good: Why Studying Archaeology Creates Good Careers and Good Citizens" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology. During nearly five decades of working in public archaeology at Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site, I have witnessed and experienced the importance of public awareness of archaeology and American Indian cultures and found the need to overcome stereotypes the public has about both.This has been...

Geochemical and Physical Characteristics of Anthropogenic Sediments from Cahokia (2015)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Caitlin Rankin. John Kelly. T.R. Kidder.

The 110 mounds that characterize Cahokia’s landscape represent the most visible aspect of anthropogenic transformation of landscape. Recent ongoing efforts on the northern edge of the east plaza at Cahokia are uncovering a hidden landscape of earthmoving, illustrating the social complexity of this urban center. Traditionally, mound building has been perceived as a simple process of moving and reshaping earthen material. Because of this simplified model of mound construction, studies of mound...

Greeting the Dawn: Investigations of Cahokia's East Plaza (2017)
DOCUMENT Citation Only John Stauffer.

This paper provides an investigation of Cahokia’s East plaza and its associated architectural remains. Defined here as the area bounded by Mounds 31, 36, 38 (Monk’s Mound), and 51, the plaza was initially distinguished by an absence of surface debris, noted during controlled surface collection efforts in the Ramey Tract by Elizabeth D. Benchley and Barbara J. Vander Leest. Based largely on ceramics that were acquired by these investigators, the proposed time of construction has been placed...

Harriet Smith, Educator and Archaeologist (2021)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Lynne Goldstein. John Kelly.

This is an abstract from the "Female Firsts: Celebrating Archaeology’s Pioneering Women on the 101st Anniversary of the 19th Amendment " session, at the 86th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology. Harriet Smith worked at the Field Museum in Chicago for much of her long career. She was in the Education Department and focused primarily on teaching high school students about archaeology and other disciplines. However, this simple statement does not do justice to Harriet’s...

Making Mounds, Making Communities in the Mississippian Period Midwest (2016)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Tamira Brennan.

Community is an expandable concept, at once representing social groups from scales as small as the household to those as broad as pathways of communication. This paper highlights the importance of examining archaeological data at these multiple spatial scales, but also at various scales of time, in order to more fully explore the social and historical processes that directed community development along their varied courses. Examples from several Mississippian period mound centers in the American...

Mapping Residential and Public Space in Cahokia’s Merrell Tract: Results of Recent Magnetic Surveys (2017)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Jarrod Burks.

The Merrell Tract is located west of Monk’s Mound and just outside downtown Cahokia. It is well known for excavations of the famous Woodhenge at its west end and a large residential district at the east end. However, very little is known about what lies between. In 2012 and 2013, with logistical funding from the Cahokia Mounds Museum Society and the Illinois Association for Advancement of Archaeology, a large-area magnetic survey was undertaken to determine the density and extent of the area’s...

Measures of Inequality in the Mississippian Heartland (2016)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Alleen Betzenhauser.

Cahokia, the earliest and largest Mississippian (A.D. 1050–1400) mound complex, is situated in the American Bottom of Illinois. It is widely considered to be the center of a regionally integrated polity complete with subsidiary centers, specialized settlements, and rural farmsteads. Investigations at Cahokia proper and in the surrounding countryside over the past 50 years have provided a wealth of data concerning settlement layout, structure size and shape, and the differential distribution of...

Monumental Construction at Cahokia, a geoarchaeological perspective (2016)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Amber Laubach. Sarah Baires.

Monumental Construction at Cahokia, a geoarchaeological perspective Amber Laubach and Sarah E. Baires Examining Pre-Columbian earthen mounds from both a macro and micro-scale lens can reveal geotechnical knowledge of construction as well as the cultural significance of this pervasive past practice in the Eastern Woodlands. Micromorphology soil samples provide a rich volume of data to examine fine-grained construction fill composition, pedogenic activity and the relative rate of monumental...

Mother Earth, Father Sky, Figurative Art and Reproduction at Cahokia and in the Mississippian World (2016)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Susan Alt.

In the Cahokian world the sounds and sights of night would have brought stories: the moon, morning star and evening star; human origins. Origin stories generally abound with sex, (mother earth, father sky) but our analyses are oddly devoid of sex. Yet Mississippian figurative art plays with the seen and unseen of sex as it hints at how cosmic principles, sex, and gender were entangled and tied to night and reproduction. By focusing on reproductive themes, but not sex, archaeologists have not...

Moving a Movement: Missions and Missionaries in Medieval North America (2017)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Amanda Butler.

The relationship between cultural interaction and religion as a catalyst for long-term historical change is an underdeveloped line of inquiry in pre-Columbian archaeology. Particularly in North American archaeology, Mississippian cultural expansions and intrusions have been considered primarily in political or economic terms. Missionizing – defined as the intent to convert someone or something to a new idea or religion - in cultural and religious change may have facilitated the spread of a...

Mystery and Ideology in the Rock Art of Missouri (2015)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Michael Fuller.

Working hypotheses link selected rock art sites in Missouri with the religious and political ideologies of the Mississippian tradition. For example, petroglyph sites such as the Bushnell Ceremonial Cave (23SG89), Washington State Park (23WA01), Madden Creek (23WA26), and the Commerce Site (23ST255) have been linked with the Mississippian tradition. Likewise, a cluster of three pictograph sites preserve Mississippian iconography: Rattlesnake Bluff (23FR95), Willenberg Shelter (23FR96), and the...

New Views of Cahokia's Urban Landscape: Multi-Instrument Geophysical Survey at the Ramey Field (2017)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Timothy Horsley. Casey Barrier. Robin Beck. John Kelly.

In this paper we report on new collaborative research that seeks to investigate the history of pre-Columbian urbanism and Mississippian culture in the greater American Bottom region of eastern North America. Our research is being designed to take advantage of a wide range of archaeological methods, technologies, and analyses to produce information for Cahokia and other sites in the region. Here, we present initial results from our first season of work at Cahokia. In July 2016, project members...

The Organizational Implications of Architecture at Moundville and Cahokia (2017)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Gregory Wilson. Timothy Pauketat.

What practices generated the largest and most complex Mississippian centers? We examine this issue through an analysis of Mississippian public and ritual architecture from Moundville in west-central Alabama and Cahokia in southwestern Illinois. Politico-religious buildings and associated practices or powers constituted the historical development of both places. Cahokians created a wider variety and more complicated distribution of such buildings than did Moundvillians. We argue that the Cahokian...

Pochteca from Cahokia, an Evaluation of the Implications of Mississippian Period Contact between the American Bottoms and the Northern Yazoo Basin in Mississippi (2017)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Jay Johnson. John Connaway.

Drawing primarily on data from the Carson Mound Group located in the Mississippi River floodplain of northwestern Mississippi, this paper considers the timing, duration, and nature of the substantial evidence for what appears to have been direct contact between the polity that centered on Cahokia and the people who built the mounds at Carson. Distinctive northern traits include raw material, lithic technology, projectile point styles, ceramics, and architecture. These traits appear for a very...