USMisME

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Phase I Variables (polity-based)

General variables

♠ RA ♣ Edward A L Turner ♥

♠ Original name ♣ Cahokia - Emergent Mississippian II ♥

♠ Alternative names ♣ Emergent Mississippian; City Mounds; Cahokia Mounds; American Bottom; Merrell Phase; Edelhardt Phase ♥

♠ Peak Date ♣ 1050 CE ♥ 1050-1150 CE. [1] Population peak c1100 CE.[2]


Temporal bounds

♠ Duration ♣ 900-1050 CE ♥

♠ Degree of centralization ♣ loose ♥

♠ Supra-polity relations ♣ none ♥

Supra-cultural relations

♠ preceding (quasi)polity ♣ Cahokia - Emergent Mississippian I ♥ Sponemann-Collinsville-Loyd
♠ relationship to preceding (quasi)polity ♣ Continuity ♥
♠ succeeding (quasi)polity ♣ Cahokia - Lohmann-Stirling ♥
♠ Supracultural entity ♣ Emergent Mississippian ♥
♠ scale of supra-cultural interaction ♣ ♥ km squared.

♠ Capital ♣ ♥


♠ Language ♣ ♥ "Cahokia was made up of different ethnic groups, perhaps even different linguistic groups."[3]

General Description

In the Emergent Mississippian Period (900-1050 CE) the Upper Mississippi region was populated by a number of small communities. The population of the largest settlement was probably in the region of 500 people - but a population is not thought to have been resident at the site that later became Cahokia until towards the end of the period.

In this period the trends established in the Sponemann-Collinsville-Loyd Period continued. Maize farming was intensified and consumption increased creating higher yields and needs for storage and larger populations.[4][5] Paregrine and Trubitt (2014) note that Cahokia was an excellent environment for growing maize and its geographic location meant it was easily accessible from many directions.[6] It is thought that many different groups created the initial settlement at Cahokia, bringing with them a social structure.[7]

The levels of social complexity in Emergent Mississippian societies were increasing creating specialised social roles for "community defense, organization of labor, and communal storage of maize". Settlements now consisted of court-yard clusters and "toward [1000 CE], the southern pattern of civic-ceremonial centers with large earthen mounds was established in many places."[8] Warfare appears to have become established. The percentage of sites that were palisaded increased throughout this period from 0.5% 800-950 CE, to 1.5% of sites 1000 CE, to 3% of sites in 1050 CE.[9] The nucleated nature of the settlements themselves may also have been a "defensive response to bow warfare."[10]


Social Complexity variables

♠ RA ♣ Edward A L Turner; Kalin Bullman ♥

Social Scale

♠ Polity territory ♣ [100-200] ♥ in squared kilometers

Quasi-polities of the American Bottom might cover 100-200 KM2.


♠ Polity Population ♣ [400-500] ♥ People.

Population of largest settlement probably in region of 500 people and this would be the quasi-polity size. This is an upper limit estimate. This population was not resident at the site that later became Cahokia. One of the areas with this number of people is called the Range site.


♠ Population of the largest settlement ♣ [400-500] ♥ Inhabitants.

Population of largest settlement probably in region of 500 people. This is an upper limit estimate. This population was not resident at the site that later became Cahokia. One of the areas with this number of people is called the Range site.

Hierarchical Complexity

♠ Settlement hierarchy ♣ 2: 900-1000 CE; 3: 1000-1050 CE ♥ levels.


Nucleated villages

"From the Late Woodland Patrick phase through Emergent Mississippian times, communities in the floodplain and immediately adjacent uplands tended to consist of groups of structures. Most people lived in these nucleated villages, each of which was occupied by at least a few tens of people, and sometimes several times that number. Only a small proportion of the valley's inhabitants lived in houses that were widely separated from one another." [11]
"It has been argued that villages with well over a hundred buildings had developed by the late Emergent Mississippian period." However "it is equally possible that the feature patterns represent nothing more than multiple super-imposed, short-term occupations that cannot be teased apart." [12]


Houses organized around a courtyard

In the Emergent Mississippian "The community pattern usually included organized groupings of houses and other structures arranged around a courtyard, often with a central post that was sometimes surrounded by four pits, and larger structures probably communal or ceremonial, to one side or in the courtyard area."[13]

"Site plans gained greater internal complexity as houses clustered into court-yard groups and, toward [1000 CE], the southern pattern of civic-ceremonial centers with large earthen mounds was established in many places.


Shift from nucleated to dispersed configuration

"Soon after A.D. 1000 people's lives changed abruptly. Two of the most obviously signs of a profound alteration in the fabric of this society are a great increase in moundbuilding and a shift in small communities from nucleated to dispersed configurations." [14]
"The beginning of the Mississippian period was marked by an abrupt shift in the character of peripheral communities ... The predominantly nucleated pattern of settlement was abandoned in favor of widely scattered single-family farmsteads." [15]


♠ Administrative levels ♣ 2: 900-1000 CE; 3: 1000-1050 CE ♥ levels.


1. Chief / Priest

In the Emergent Mississippian period: "perhaps the appearance of chiefs" [16]
"Cahokia may have been led by a priesthood or a group of ruler-priests, but a shift to “king” does not appear to have happened at Cahokia."[17]


2. Sub-chief / Sub-priest?

"Members of the highest social strata probably included chiefs, sub-chiefs, elders, priests, and other religious functionaries." [18]


3. Elder / Religious functionary

kin group leaders [19]


♠ Religious levels ♣ 2: 900-1000 CE; 3: 1000-1050 CE ♥ levels.

"At Cahokia there may have been no difference between the religious and political hierarchy. They were interlocked, impossible to disentangle."[20]


1. Chief / Priest

In the Emergent Mississippian period: "perhaps the appearance of chiefs" [21]
"Cahokia may have been led by a priesthood or a group of ruler-priests, but a shift to “king” does not appear to have happened at Cahokia."[22]


2. Sub-chief / Sub-priest?

"Members of the highest social strata probably included chiefs, sub-chiefs, elders, priests, and other religious functionaries." [23]


3. Elder / Religious functionary

kin group leaders [24]


♠ Military levels ♣ suspected unknown ♥ levels.

1 or 2. More comfortable at 1 level at this point. Not until Mississippian evidence of warrior specialists.

Professions

♠ Professional military officers ♣ absent ♥

♠ Professional soldiers ♣ absent ♥

♠ Professional priesthood ♣ present ♥ "Those who planned and organized the construction of the Cahokian cosmographical landscape can be interpreted as being religious specialists."[25]

Bureaucracy characteristics

♠ Full-time bureaucrats ♣ inferred absent ♥ Chiefs are thought to have possibly appeared after 700-800 CE[26] and from this time there were newly created "social roles linked to community defense, organization of labor, and communal storage of maize in secure central places".[27] However it would be a stretch too far to call the new social roles of the Emergent Mississppian "government." It may be telling that there is "no evidence for standards of weights or volumes" - which would be evidence for a formal administration - yet "there may have been a standard unit of length used to lay out ritual spaces)"[28] given that the religious and political hierarchy was thought to have been "interlocked, impossible to disentangle."[29]

♠ Examination system ♣ absent ♥

♠ Merit promotion ♣ ♥

♠ Specialized government buildings ♣ [absent; present] ♥ "East St. Louis started out as a residential group, but evolved into an administrative/storage like complex." [30] However, the identification of any Mississippian-period structures in the Cahokia region as specialized government buildings is far from clear. The sites of activity within the "central administrative complex"[31] could have largely been of religious significance and perhaps communal or elite storage rather than used as sites for the administration or processing of taxes and management of records (for which we have no evidence). In general, the identification of any Mississippian-period structures in the Cahokia region as specialized government buildings is far from clear. The sites of activity within the"Central administrative complex". could have largely been of religious significance and perhaps communal or elite storage rather than used as sites for the administration or processing of taxes and management of records (for which we have no evidence).[32]

Law

♠ Formal legal code ♣ unknown ♥ "formal adjudication structures were also present, but it is not clear what these might have been."[33]

♠ Judges ♣ ♥

♠ Courts ♣ ♥

♠ Professional Lawyers ♣ absent ♥

Specialized Buildings: polity owned

♠ irrigation systems ♣ absent ♥ "There is evidence of maize pollen in swales, and some drainage and irrigation facilities." [34] However, there were "no irrigation systems evident at Cahokia."[35]
♠ drinking water supply systems ♣ absent ♥
♠ markets ♣ absent ♥ There is no evidence for markets, "nothing that would suggest an integrated economy of any kind."[36] "There were probably no markets at Cahokia. Distribution of food and manufactured goods (e.g. shell beads) were likely “event based”, taking place at feasts and rituals. Barter or reciprocal exchange was likely part of an informal economy that circulated goods on a limited basis. Some redistribution of surplus production may have taken place as well." [37]
♠ food storage sites ♣ inferred present ♥ "Most of the people at Cahokia were self-sufficient, but granaries are present in Stirling/Moorehead Cahokia."[38] "Fluctuation in agricultural production (especially due to flooding) would have affected specific areas of the American Bottom on an almost annual basis, and may have required provisioning some parts of the population on an irregular basis. Granaries and other storage facilities may have held the surplus required for this provisioning."[39]

Transport infrastructure

♠ Roads ♣ present ♥ [40] "Roadways link external centers to Cahokia providing a physical connection between them."[41] "LiDAR helped to identify a causeway 25m wide from Monks Mound to Rattlesnake Mound." [42] "trail networks also are important, and some of the historic east-west ones cross near Cahokia."[43]
♠ Bridges ♣ absent ♥ There were no bridges in prehistoric North America.
♠ Canals ♣ absent ♥
♠ Ports ♣ absent ♥ "There was geographically widespread trade between Cahokia and other communities (and between those other communities themselves) especially along the Mississippi. However, this trade appears to have been low volume, with only small amounts being exchanged at any given time. Canoes identified so far are small, unable to carry high volumes of commodities. There is no evidence for centralized control of this exchange, except perhaps for high-status goods and exceptional ritual objects." [44]"[45]

Special purpose sites

♠ Mines or quarries ♣ present ♥ "Large chert cores were roughed out at quarries, not at valley sites." [46] From earliest times people of American bottom were visiting a number of sources. This is not mentioned in current literature. Two examples: Wyandot, in the Ohio river valley and Mill Creek just south of the American bottom.

Information

Writing System

♠ Mnemonic devices ♣ ♥
♠ Nonwritten records ♣ ♥
♠ Written records ♣ absent ♥ There is no written record for Cahokia.[47]
♠ Script ♣ absent ♥ "There are no inscriptions, images, or even unambiguous houses or burials of political leaders."[48]
♠ Phonetic alphabetic writing ♣ absent ♥

Kinds of Written Documents

♠ Lists, tables, and classifications ♣ absent ♥
♠ Calendar ♣ absent ♥
♠ Sacred Texts ♣ absent ♥
♠ Religious literature ♣ absent ♥
♠ Practical literature ♣ absent ♥
♠ History ♣ absent ♥
♠ Philosophy ♣ absent ♥
♠ Scientific literature ♣ absent ♥
♠ Fiction ♣ absent ♥


Money

♠ Articles ♣ present ♥ Exchange-system economy. [49]
♠ Tokens ♣ inferred present ♥ Shell beads may have been tokens of exchange.
♠ Precious metals ♣ absent ♥
♠ Foreign coins ♣ absent ♥
♠ Indigenous coins ♣ absent ♥
♠ Paper currency ♣ absent ♥

Postal System

♠ Couriers ♣ inferred present ♥ No direct evidence for messengers but may be inferred present due to the scale of the integration and hierarchy.
♠ Postal stations ♣ absent ♥
♠ General postal service ♣ absent ♥

Warfare variables

♠ RA ♣ Edward A L Turner; Kalin Bullman ♥

Military Technologies

Military use of Metals

♠ Copper ♣ ♥
♠ Bronze ♣ absent ♥
♠ Iron ♣ absent ♥
♠ Steel ♣ absent ♥

Projectiles

♠ Javelins ♣ absent ♥ Checked by Peter Peregrine.
♠ Atlatl ♣ absent ♥
♠ Slings ♣ absent ♥ Checked by Peter Peregrine.
♠ Self bow ♣ present ♥ "Beginning A.D. 300-400, the bow replaced the atlatl in most regions" [50] However, not regularly used as a weapon: evidence of victims "struck by arrows and clubs" increased only during "last half of the first millennium" [51] First evidence of intergroup violence appears in the archaeological record after 600 CE. "For the first time, there is evidence, in the form of group and individual burials with embedded arrow points, of the bow as the primary weapon of intergroup violence." [52]
♠ Composite bow ♣ absent ♥ Checked by Peter Peregrine.
♠ Crossbow ♣ absent ♥
♠ Tension siege engines ♣ absent ♥
♠ Sling siege engines ♣ absent ♥
♠ Gunpowder siege artillery ♣ absent ♥
♠ Handheld firearms ♣ absent ♥

Handheld weapons

♠ War clubs ♣ present ♥ Evidence of victims "struck by arrows and clubs" as inter-group conflicts increased during "last half of the first millennium" [53] Clubs [54]
♠ Battle axes ♣ inferred present ♥ "heavy stone axe or mace" [55] However, whilst often referred to as a "stone axe" this weapon also could be called a mace or a club. It was a bludgeoning weapon.
♠ Daggers ♣ absent ♥ Checked by Peter Peregrine.
♠ Swords ♣ absent ♥ Checked by Peter Peregrine.
♠ Spears ♣ absent ♥ Handheld thrusting spears absent.
♠ Polearms ♣ absent ♥ Checked by Peter Peregrine.

Animals used in warfare

♠ Dogs ♣ ♥
♠ Donkeys ♣ absent ♥
♠ Horses ♣ absent ♥
♠ Camels ♣ absent ♥
♠ Elephants ♣ absent ♥

Armor

♠ Wood, bark, etc ♣ absent ♥ No evidence for wooden shields. [56]
♠ Leather, cloth ♣ absent ♥ No evidence for the use of leather as armor. [57]
♠ Shields ♣ absent ♥ Checked by Peter Peregrine.
♠ Helmets ♣ absent ♥ Checked by Peter Peregrine.
♠ Breastplates ♣ absent ♥ Checked by Peter Peregrine.
♠ Limb protection ♣ absent ♥ Checked by Peter Peregrine.
♠ Chainmail ♣ absent ♥
♠ Scaled armor ♣ absent ♥
♠ Laminar armor ♣ absent ♥
♠ Plate armor ♣ absent ♥

Naval technology

♠ Small vessels (canoes, etc) ♣ present ♥ "Canoes identified so far are small, unable to carry high volumes of commodities."[58]
♠ Merchant ships pressed into service ♣ absent ♥
♠ Specialized military vessels ♣ absent ♥

Fortifications

♠ Settlements in a defensive position ♣ absent ♥ Settlements primarily located for access to water and arable land. [59]
♠ Wooden palisades ♣ present ♥ "Mississippian sites often featured curtain walls with frameworks of stout posts accompanied by large bastions, high embankments, and deep ditches." [60] According to the temporal distribution of "131 walled settlements corresponding to Mississippian societies and their immediate predecessors" the breakout point for increasing percent of sites having palisades is around 900-950 CE. 800-950 CE: 0.5% of sites. 1000 CE: 1.5% of sites. 1050 CE: 3% of sites. 1100 CE: 4% of sites. 1200: 7% of sites. [61]
♠ Earth ramparts ♣ present ♥ "Mississippian sites often featured curtain walls with frameworks of stout posts accompanied by large bastions, high embankments, and deep ditches." [62]
♠ Ditch ♣ present ♥ "Mississippian sites often featured curtain walls with frameworks of stout posts accompanied by large bastions, high embankments, and deep ditches." [63]
♠ Moat ♣ absent ♥
♠ Stone walls (non-mortared) ♣ absent ♥
♠ Stone walls (mortared) ♣ absent ♥
♠ Fortified camps ♣ absent ♥
♠ Complex fortifications ♣ absent ♥ Checked by Peter Peregrine.
♠ Long walls ♣ 0 ♥ km.
♠ Modern fortifications ♣ absent ♥

Phase II Variables (polity-based)

Institutional Variables

♠ RA ♣ Edward A L Turner ♥

Limits on Power of the Chief Executive

Power distributed

♠ Constraint on executive by government ♣ absent ♥ Chiefs are thought to have possibly appeared after 700-800 CE[64] and from this time there were newly created "social roles linked to community defense, organization of labor, and communal storage of maize in secure central places".[65] However it would be a stretch too far to call the new social roles of the Emergent Mississippian "government."
♠ Constraint on executive by non-government ♣ inferred present ♥ Chiefs are thought to have possibly appeared after 700-800 CE[66] and from this time there were newly created "social roles linked to community defense, organization of labor, and communal storage of maize in secure central places".[67] It is possible that the chiefs of the Emergent Mississippian would have needed the cooperation of other powerful individuals e.g. kin group leaders, as the chief may not have had full-time enforcers or military to punish non-compliance.
♠ Impeachment ♣ inferred absent ♥ Chiefs are thought to have possibly appeared after 700-800 CE[68] and from this time there were newly created "social roles linked to community defense, organization of labor, and communal storage of maize in secure central places".[69] It is possible that the chiefs of the Emergent Mississippian would have listened to advice from other powerful individuals e.g. kin group leaders. The idea such individuals could "impeach" the chief seems a little elaborate for this small-scale society.

Social Mobility

Status

Elite status

♠ elite status is hereditary ♣ [absent; present] ♥ Chiefs are thought to have possibly appeared after 700-800 CE[70] and from this time there were newly created "social roles linked to community defense, organization of labor, and communal storage of maize in secure central places".[71] It is probably unknown whether the title and position of the chief was inherited. Status likely was heritable in the following period.

Religion and Normative Ideology

♠ RA ♣ Edward Turner, Enrico Cioni ♥

Deification of Rulers

♠ Rulers are legitimated by gods ♣ suspected unknown ♥ Chiefs are thought to have possibly appeared after 700-800 CE[72] and "there may have been no difference between the religious and political hierarchy. They were interlocked, impossible to disentangle."[73] We have no detail on their religious beliefs.

♠ Rulers are gods ♣ suspected unknown ♥ Chiefs are thought to have possibly appeared after 700-800 CE[74] and "there may have been no difference between the religious and political hierarchy. They were interlocked, impossible to disentangle."[75] We have no detail on their religious beliefs.

Normative Ideological Aspects of Equity and Prosociality

♠ Ideological reinforcement of equality ♣ inferred present ♥ Chiefs are thought to have possibly appeared after 700-800 CE[76] and "there may have been no difference between the religious and political hierarchy. They were interlocked, impossible to disentangle."[77] However it was still a relatively egalitarian society which was unlikely to have yet had serfs or slaves. Archaeologists have not found great estates or manor-type houses. "The community pattern usually included organized groupings of houses and other structures arranged around a courtyard, often with a central post that was sometimes surrounded by four pits, and larger structures probably communal or ceremonial, to one side or in the courtyard area."[78] Did the central post which had a "communal or ceremonial" role help to ideological reinforce equality - the community structure?

♠ Ideological thought equates rulers and commoners ♣ inferred present ♥ Chiefs are thought to have possibly appeared after 700-800 CE.[79] However it was still a relatively egalitarian society which was unlikely to have yet had serfs or slaves. Archaeologists have not found great estates or manor-type houses. "The community pattern usually included organized groupings of houses and other structures arranged around a courtyard, often with a central post that was sometimes surrounded by four pits, and larger structures probably communal or ceremonial, to one side or in the courtyard area."[80] This might suggest that the chief was at this time a ruler who was still considered one of the community.
♠ Ideological thought equates elites and commoners ♣ inferred present ♥ Chiefs are thought to have possibly appeared after 700-800 CE.[81] However it was still a relatively egalitarian society which was unlikely to have yet had serfs or slaves. Archaeologists have not found great estates or manor-type houses. "The community pattern usually included organized groupings of houses and other structures arranged around a courtyard, often with a central post that was sometimes surrounded by four pits, and larger structures probably communal or ceremonial, to one side or in the courtyard area."[82] This might suggest that the "elites" - if we can call a chief this - were still considered of the community.

♠ Ideology reinforces prosociality ♣ inferred present ♥ Settlements have often yielded a wide variety of ceramic types, representing several different "ethnic" styles and several different varieties of ceramic pastes, and the fact that "the pots of one's neighbors ended up in the refuse of one's own village probably indicates periodic inter-village feasting, with hosts and guests alternating between villages from event to event" [83]

♠ production of public goods ♣ suspected unknown ♥

Moralizing Supernatural Powers

♠ Moral concern is primary ♣ inferred absent ♥
♠ Moralizing enforcement is certain ♣ inferred absent ♥
♠ Moralizing norms are broad ♣ inferred absent ♥
♠ Moralizing enforcement is targeted ♣ inferred absent ♥
♠ Moralizing enforcement of rulers ♣ inferred absent ♥
♠ Moralizing religion adopted by elites ♣ inferred absent ♥
♠ Moralizing religion adopted by commoners ♣ inferred absent ♥
♠ Moralizing enforcement in afterlife ♣ inferred absent ♥
♠ Moralizing enforcement in this life ♣ inferred absent ♥
♠ Moralizing enforcement is agentic ♣ inferred absent ♥

These data were reviewed by expert advisors and consultants. For a detailed description of these data, refer to the relevant Analytic Narratives, reference tables, and acknowledgements page. [84] [85] [86]

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