Planned Ritual: Cahokia’s Monumental Causeways

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


Detailed examination of the Cahokia site through aerial LiDAR and ground reconnaissance has revealed additional features of interest in the vicinity of Rattlesnake Mound. These include a possible early Cahokian mound platform superimposed by the Rattlesnake ridgetop tumulus. In addition, another artificial causeway is now apparent tothe east of the foundational or great Rattlesnake Causeway. Similar to the primary example, this second raised earthen walkway appears intended to facilitate human processions through standing water, as we recently verified. In addition, the second great causeway shares the same elevation, width (about 20- meters), and alignment (to Cahokia’s documented 5 degree offsetgrid). In fact, it parallels the Rattlesnake Causeway for at least 300 meters. Taken together and pending ground truthing, all of the new features indicate a previously unrecognized degree of spatial complexity if not chronological depth involving monumental water features and centralized water rituals.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProgram and Abstracts - 63rd Annual Meeting
PublisherIllinois Archaeological Survey
StatePublished - 2019
Event2019 Annual Meeting of the Illinois Archaeological Survey - Collinsville, United States
Duration: Sep 6 2019Sep 7 2019
Conference number: 63


Conference2019 Annual Meeting of the Illinois Archaeological Survey
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • ISAS


Dive into the research topics of 'Planned Ritual: Cahokia’s Monumental Causeways'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this