Mound 72’s Principal Individuals: A Reassessment of Sex and Its Importance to Mississippian Mortuary Practices

Katie Zejdlik, Kristin M. Hedman, Andrew Thompson, Thomas E. Emerson

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

Abstract

Cahokia’s Mound 72 is one of the most socially complex and frequently discussed burial features in the Eastern Woodlands. The principal feature of this mound is the interment of two individuals: a primary, extended individual buried supine on top of 20,000 shells beads and another primary, extended individual beneath the beads. Original reports indicate both individuals were male. However, recent studies conducted by multiple observers using independent lines of evidence suggest the individual beneath the beads was actually female. A female in this principal burial location requires a fresh look at how Mound 72 is viewed. In this study, we discuss the portrayal of women in Mississippian archaeology, drawing on similarities between the Mound 72 mortuary program and other Mississippian sites in the region. In light of these new insights, we offer an alternative perspective on the symbolism depicted in the burial features of Mound 72.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication79th Annual Society for American Archaeology Conference
Pages846
StatePublished - 2014

Keywords

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    Zejdlik, K., Hedman, K. M., Thompson, A., & Emerson, T. E. (2014). Mound 72’s Principal Individuals: A Reassessment of Sex and Its Importance to Mississippian Mortuary Practices. In 79th Annual Society for American Archaeology Conference (pp. 846)