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The Changing Use of Space in Cahokia’s Urban Epicenter: Archaeological Investigations on the Merrell Tract (2011-2016)

Author(s): Immacolata Valese ; Davide Domenici

Year: 2017

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Summary

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 area occupied by Emergent Mississippian residential groups; then, during the Cahokian apogee (Lohmann and Stirling phases), it was marked by a sequence of large wooden buildings as part of its transformation into a public space, the West Plaza; finally, it reverted back to a domestic area during the Moorehead and Sand Prairie phases, just before the city’s abandonment. The recovered data clarify many aspects of this long occupation, especially those related with the shape of a rather enigmatic Stirling-phase bastioned compound and with the unexpectedly complex Moorehead-phase occupation of the area.


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Cite this Record

The Changing Use of Space in Cahokia’s Urban Epicenter: Archaeological Investigations on the Merrell Tract (2011-2016). Immacolata Valese, Davide Domenici. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431556)


Keywords

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): 14947

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America