Manufacturing Shell Beads from the East St. Louis Site and Wilson Mound, Cahokia

Laura Kozuch, Sarah Baires

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Marine shell artifacts are a significant element of the specialized materials manufactured and cached at Cahokia, from the Mound 72 “shell bead blanket” to shell cups and gorgets. We examine two new shell bead data sets from both East St. Louis Site and Cahokia’s Wilson burial mound to investigate if bead making was standardized and/or if specialists manufactured shell beads. We also examine the relationships of lightning whelk shell, the raw material for the majority of shell beads, and specialized practices, focusing on methods of manufacture, depositional practices, and the association of shell materials to unique places and activities.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 72th Annual Meeting
StatePublished - 2015

Publication series



  • ISAS


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