The Organizational Implications of Architecture at Moundville and Cahokia

Author(s): Gregory Wilson; Timothy Pauketat

Year: 2017


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 architectural order provides evidence of supra-kin movements that help to explain that region’s complex ritual-residential precincts, nodal site networks, and farming districts. These relationships operated as part of a more centrally administered and regionally articulated mode of sociopolitical organization than existed at early Moundville.

Cite this Record

The Organizational Implications of Architecture at Moundville and Cahokia. Gregory Wilson, Timothy Pauketat. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430831)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -104.634; min lat: 36.739 ; max long: -80.64; max lat: 49.153 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15512