“Impressive. Provides perspective on the interconnectedness of Cahokia with regional cultures, the evidence for (or against) this connection in specific areas, and the hows and whys of Cahokian influence on shaping regional cultures. There is no other comparable work.”—Lynne P. Sullivan, coeditor of Mississippian Mortuary Practices: Beyond Hierarchy and the Representationist Perspective
“This volume synthesizes information regarding possible contacts—direct or indirect—with Cahokia and offers several hypotheses about how those contacts may have occurred and what evidence the archaeological record offers.”—Mary Vermilion, Saint Louis University
At its height between AD 1050 and 1275, the city of Cahokia was the largest settlement of the Mississippian culture, acting as an important trade center and pilgrimage site. While the influence of Cahokian culture on the development of monumental architecture, maize-based subsistence practices, and economic complexity throughout North America is undisputed, new research in this volume reveals a landscape of influence of the regions that had and may not have had a relationship with Cahokia.
Contributors find evidence for Cahokia’s hegemony—its social, cultural, ideological, and economic influence—in artifacts, burial practices, and religious iconography uncovered at far-flung sites across the Eastern Woodlands. Case studies include Kinkaid in the Ohio River Valley, Schild in the Illinois River Valley, Shiloh in Tennessee, and Aztalan in Wisconsin. These essays also show how, with Cahokia’s abandonment, the diaspora occurred via the Mississippi River and extended the culture’s impact southward.
Cahokia in Context demonstrates that the city’s cultural developments during its heyday and the impact of its demise produced profound and lasting effects on many regional cultures. This close look at Cahokia’s influence offers new insights into the movement of people and ideas in prehistoric America, and it honors the final contributions of Charles McNutt, one of the most respected scholars in southeastern archaeology.
Charles H. McNutt (1928-2017) was professor emeritus of anthropology at the University of Memphis and the editor of Prehistory of the Central Mississippi Valley. Ryan M. Parish is assistant professor of archaeology at the University of Memphis. A volume in the Florida Museum of Natural History: Ripley P. Bullen Series
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