Towns and Household Groups during a Period of Urban Transition in Native North America: A Case from the Early Mississippian Era in the Cahokia Region
Author(s): Casey Barrier
The development of large, complex settlements and the organization of associated institutions and social groups are major topics of research for anthropological archaeologists. The realization that pre-Columbian inhabitants of the central Mississippi Valley instigated complex social arrangements at urban scales makes Native North America a site of research that can contribute to the comparative study of urbanism. In this paper, previous and ongoing work near the site of Cahokia is discussed. A program of research has been started that is examining demographic shifts associated with the growth of large settlements during the period of urban transformations. As part of the process, an emerging view is one of social groups aggregating at various scales and creating complex arrays of communities, institutions, and settlements ranging from village, to town, to city. This view includes a real-time history of movements and constructions suggesting that these settlements were in flux, and that the sites and settlement "types" we study are a product of the dynamic urbanization process in the region. As a case study, the construction then rapid abandonment of an early mound-town by coalesced household corporate groups is provided that gives a rare look into one aspect of urbanism in this region.
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Towns and Household Groups during a Period of Urban Transition in Native North America: A Case from the Early Mississippian Era in the Cahokia Region. Casey Barrier. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431620)
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min long: -91.274; min lat: 24.847 ; max long: -72.642; max lat: 36.386 ;
Abstract Id(s): 14684