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EXPLORING NEW CAHOKIAN NEIGHBORHOODS: STRUCTURE DENSITY ESTIMATES FROM THE SPRING LAKE TRACT, CAHOKIA

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 August 2017

Sarah E. Baires*
Affiliation:
Department of Sociology, Anthropology, Criminology and Social Work, 83 Windham Street, 421 Webb Hall, Eastern Connecticut State University, Willimantic, CT 06226, USA
Melissa R. Baltus
Affiliation:
Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Toledo, 2801 W. Bancroft Street, MS 956, Toledo, OH 43606, USA
Elizabeth Watts Malouchos
Affiliation:
Glenn A. Black Laboratory of Archaeology, Indiana University, 423 North Fess Avenue, Bloomington, IN 47408, USA
*
(bairess@easternct.edu, corresponding author)

Abstract

We present the recent results of a magnetometry survey of the Spring Lake Tract conducted during the summer of 2015 at Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site located along the Mississippi River Floodplain in southern Illinois. This tract, located southeast of Woodhenge and west of the Grand Plaza, is situated north of two known borrow pits and includes an additional, previously unidentified borrow pit. Through comparing our gradiometer results with our subsequent test excavations, we argue that this area of Cahokia potentially demonstrates an increase in building density at the Spring Lake Tract during the transition between the Terminal Late Woodland and Lohmann phases. In addition, our survey and exaction results demonstrate that this area was densely occupied between the Lohmann and Stirling phases. During the Moorehead phase, we identify a possible increase in habitation based on hypothesized structure density using statistical analyses of length and width ratios (m) and structure area (m2). Our preliminary results suggest that the Spring Lake Tract saw an increase in habitation during the Moorehead phase, a new perspective on the density and use of domestic space during Cahokia's late occupational history.

Presentamos los resultados de una reciente prospección magnetométrica del sector Spring Lake, realizada durante el verano de 2015 en el sitio de Cahokia, localizado en la llanura aluvial del río Mississippi en el sur de Illinois. Ubicado al sureste de Woodhenge y al oeste de la Gran Plaza, este sector se encuentra al norte de dos conocidas canteras para extracción de tierra e incluye otra cantera no identificada previamente. Con base en la comparación de los resultados del gradiómetro con las posteriores excavaciones de prueba, argumentamos que esta zona de Cahokia potencialmente muestra un aumento en la densidad de construcción durante la transición entre la fase Silvícola tardía terminal y la fase Lohmann. Además, los resultados de la prospección y de las excavaciones demuestran que esta zona fue densamente ocupada entre las fases Lohmann y Stirling. Durante la fase Moorehead identificamos un posible incremento habitacional basado en la densidad estructural especulada con base en análisis estadísticos de las proporciones entre longitud y anchura y del área de las estructuras. Nuestros resultados preliminares sugieren que el sector Spring Lake vio un aumento residencial durante la fase Moorehead, lo cual es una nueva perspectiva sobre la densidad y el uso del espacio doméstico durante las fases finales de la ocupación de Cahokia.

Type
Reports
Copyright
Copyright © 2017 by the Society for American Archaeology 

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