Illuminating Triangulations: Moonlight and the Mississippian World

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The moon and its moonlight mediated human and non-human relationships in ways that a relational theory of bundling helps us to understand. Similar to assemblage, bundling better captures the ways that human perceptions involve triangulations and transfers. Pre-Columbian human experience in the Mississippi River valley was intimately aligned to the nightly, monthly, and generational cycles of the moon as these converged with the earth and other moving entities, things, and phenomena as sensed by people. Cahokian and other early Mississippian-era mounded complexes—Trempealeau, Angel, and Emerald in particular—mimicked specific lunar phenomena on earth and, in that way, articulated the powers of the moon among people in ways that altered the broad sweep of pre-Columbian indigenous history.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Light in Archaeology
EditorsCostas Papadopoulos, Holley Moyes
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191830174
ISBN (Print)9780198788218
StatePublished - 2021

Publication series

NameOxford Handbooks


  • moon
  • Native America
  • Cahokia
  • Mississippian
  • entanglement
  • bundling
  • moonlight


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