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summary

This dramatic and controversial new interpretation of Cahokian leadership strategies examines the authority a ruling elite exercised over the surrounding countryside through a complex of social, political, and religious symbolism.



This study uses the theoretical concepts of agency, power, and ideology to explore the development of cultural complexity within the hierarchically organized Cahokia Middle Mississippian society of the American Bottom from the 11th to the 13th centuries. By scrutinizing the available archaeological settlement and symbolic evidence, Emerson demonstrates that many sites previously identified as farmsteads were actually nodal centers with specialized political, religious, and economic functions integrated into a centralized administrative organization. These centers consolidated the symbolism of such 'artifacts of power' as figurines, ritual vessels, and sacred plants into a rural cult that marked the expropriation of the cosmos as part of the increasing power of the Cahokian rulers.



During the height of Cahokian centralized power, it is argued, the elites had convinced their subjects that they ruled both the physical and the
spiritual worlds. Emerson concludes that Cahokian complexity differs significantly in degree and form from previously studied Eastern Woodlands chiefdoms and opens new discussion about the role of rural support for the Cahokian ceremonial center.



 

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright Page, Dedication Page
  2. pp. iii-v
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  1. Contents
  2. p. vii
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  1. Figures and Tables
  2. pp. ix-xi
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. p. xiii
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  1. 1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-7
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  1. 2. The Conceptual Parameters
  2. pp. 9-41
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  1. 3. The Cultural-Historical Contexts
  2. pp. 43-60
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  1. 4. Mississippian Rural Settlement
  2. pp. 61-79
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  1. 5. Cahokian Rural Nodes: The Archaeological Evidence
  2. pp. 81-149
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  1. 6. Interpreting Cahokian Rural Settlements
  2. pp. 151-192
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  1. 7. The Cahokian Symbolic World
  2. pp. 193-223
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  1. 8. Cahokian Rural Cults
  2. pp. 225-248
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  1. 9. Conclusions
  2. pp. 249-267
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  1. References Cited
  2. pp. 269-306
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  1. Index [Includes Back Cover]
  2. pp. 307-317
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Additional Information

ISBN
9780817383657
Related ISBN
9780817308889
MARC Record
OCLC
44956190
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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