Dating Gahagan and its implications for understanding Cahokia-Caddo interactions

Thomas E Emerson, Jeffrey S. Girard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Gahagan site (16RR1) in northwestern Louisiana is an Early Caddo mound center justly famed for the rich prehistoric tombs excavated there by early archaeologists. The recovered objects included two examples of twelfthcentury Cahokia-style figure pipes crafted from CBP Missouri flint clay. These two specimens represent a rare example of the in situ recovery of Cahokia figures in the Trans-Mississippi South. In an effort to more precisely determine when the flint clay figures were interred, three AMS samples were run on associated wood and leather objects. The weighted mean of these dates yielded a two-sigma range of cal A.D. 1021 to 1160. This is the first evidence demonstrating that Cahokia-style flint clay effigies were moving into the Caddo area during Cahokia's early Stirling phase (A.D. 1100-1150). This analysis adds to the growing body of evidence suggesting early interaction between the Cahokia and Caddo centers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-64
Number of pages8
JournalSoutheastern Archaeology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology


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