Greeting the Dawn: Investigations of Cahokia's East Plaza

Author(s): John Stauffer

Year: 2017


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 between the Lohman and early Stirling phases, around the same time as the West, North, and Grand (South) plazas are believed to have been completed. As a relatively early construct that was overshadowed by the rise of Cahokia’s other forms of monumental architecture, the area in which the East plaza was established became a palimpsest for the site’s pioneering architects. Nevertheless, it comprised an essential component of the site’s cosmologically oriented layout. As such, it retained its own architectural nuances and metaphors, some of which are celebrated in our fragmentary understanding of Native oral histories.

Cite this Record

Greeting the Dawn: Investigations of Cahokia's East Plaza. John Stauffer. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431554)


Geographic Keywords
North America - Midwest

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 14733