Resettled farmers and the making of a Mississippian polity

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Population displacement, resettlement, and migration constitute important dimensions in a general process of "cultural construction." A pedestrian survey and extensive excavations of 255 domestic buildings and related artifacts at 15 contemporaneous sites document a pattern of localized resettlement in which thousands of agricultural villagers moved or were displaced coeval with the founding of Cahokia. The resettled villagers appear to have moved into a previously unoccupied upland zone that surrounds the Mississippi River floodplain. Identified as the "Richland Complex," the seemingly abrupt resettlement corresponds to other regional evidence of demographic reconfiguration and cultural pluralism. The immediate effect of this study is a reorientation of research at Cahokia toward the goals of a "historical-processual" archaeology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-66
Number of pages28
JournalAmerican Antiquity
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Archaeology
  • Museology


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