9 Elements of Cahokian Neighborhoods

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American Indian neighborhoods were very much under construction during the late-eleventh century at Cahokia in the American Bottom region of southwestern Illinois. A social order that transcended pre-Mississippian village life may now be defined based on large-scale excavations at East St. Louis and Cahokia proper. Architectural patterns and craft production debris within the greater central complex indicate possible religious, if not political or ethnic, divisions that did not form organically. At least some of this architecture was built specifically for sheltering and engaging other animate beings. The central problems in this analysis are distinguishing residential neighborhoods from other kinds of occupational zones and human neighbors from other-than-human residents. To this end, we generate new measures of architectural diversity, density, and positioning to identify the elements of Cahokian neighborhoods and examine how they were created and reconfigured.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)133-147
Number of pages15
JournalArcheological Papers of the American Anthropological Association
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2019


  • Animism
  • Architecture
  • Mississippian
  • Urbanism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • Archaeology


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