Elements of Cahokian Neighborhoods

Alleen M. Betzenhauser, Timothy R. Pauketat

Research output: Contribution to conferenceOther


American Indian neighborhoods were very much under construction during the late-eleventh century at Cahokia. A social order that transcends 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. The central problems of a Mississippian analysis, however, are distinguishing (1) neighborhoods from other kinds of occupational zones and (2) human neighbors from other-than-human residents. We use new measures of architectural diversity, density, and positioning to identify the elements of Cahokian neighborhoods and how they were created, maintained, and reconfigured. Ultimately, we will demonstrate how these varying neighborhoods were implicated in processes of urbanization, community formation, and the development of social divisions within the central complex and beyond.
Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - 2015


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