Temporal Patterns in Diet and Population Movement within Greater Cahokia

Kristin Hedman, Thomas Emerson, Timothy Pauketat, Matthew Fort

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

Abstract

At its peak, Greater Cahokia had a population of over 30,000 people, and engaged in social, political, and religious interactions that covered the midcontinent. The factors that influenced the rise and dissolution of Greater Cahokia between ca A.D. 1000 and 1300 remain a focus of inquiry. Archaeobotanical and isotopic research indicates maize first became a significant food resource for American Bottom populations at about A.D. 900 and quickly increased in importance. Strontium (87Sr/86Sr) analysis provides evidence that immigrants from a variety of regions contributed significantly to population growth at Greater Cahokia. For some immigrants, a move to the American Bottom correlates with a dramatic change from a diet low in maize to one heavily maize dependent. New data from the well-contextualized East St. Louis excavations, an expanded isotopic dataset for the American Bottom, and a better understanding of midcontinental strontium signatures, allows us to explore temporal and regional patterns of diet and the movement of people within Greater Cahokia. We will consider these patterns of subsistence change and population movement in light of regional climatic conditions.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationINDIVIDUAL ABSTRACTS OF THE SAA 84TH ANNUAL MEETING
StatePublished - 2019

Keywords

  • ISAS

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