Temporal Patterns in Diet and Population Movement within Greater Cahokia


This is an abstract from the "Migration and Climate Change: The Spread of Mississippian Culture" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

At its peak, Greater Cahokia had a population of over 30,000 people, and engaged in social, political, and religious interactions that covered the midcontinent. The factors that influenced the rise and dissolution of Greater Cahokia between ca A.D. 1000 and 1300 remain a focus of inquiry. Archaeobotanical and isotopic research indicates maize first became a significant food resource for American Bottom populations at about A.D. 900 and quickly increased in importance. Strontium (87Sr/86Sr) analysis provides evidence that immigrants from a variety of regions contributed significantly to population growth at Greater Cahokia. For some immigrants, a move to the American Bottom correlates with a dramatic change from a diet low in maize to one heavily maize dependent. New data from the well-contextualized East St. Louis excavations, an expanded isotopic dataset for the American Bottom, and a better understanding of midcontinental strontium signatures, allows us to explore temporal and regional patterns of diet and the movement of people within Greater Cahokia. We will consider these patterns of subsistence change and population movement in light of regional climatic conditions.

Cite this Record

Temporal Patterns in Diet and Population Movement within Greater Cahokia. Kristin Hedman, Thomas Emerson, Timothy Pauketat, Matthew Fort. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 451013)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -103.975; min lat: 36.598 ; max long: -80.42; max lat: 48.922 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 23701