Cahokia and the Archeology of Power / Cahokia: The Great Native American Metropolis

By Miller, Jon | Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, Winter 2001 | Go to article overview

Cahokia and the Archeology of Power / Cahokia: The Great Native American Metropolis


Miller, Jon, Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society


Cahokia and the Archaeology of Power. By Thomas E. Emerson (Tuscaloosa, Alabama, The University of Alabama Press, 1997. Pp. xvii, 317. $29.95)

Cahokia: The Great Native American Metropolis. By Biloine Whiting Young and Melvin L. Fowler. (Urbana, Illinois: Illinois University Press, 2000. Pp. xiii, 366. Cloth, $55.00; Paper, $24.95)

These books cover aspects of the justly famous Cahokia Mounds site in the East St. Louis area of southern Illinois. The site is a World Heritage designated site, and contains the remains of what is indisputably the most complex archaeologically known culture north of Mexico. For one thing, the total mound construction at the site exceeds one million cubic meters of earth fill. Nearly two-thirds of this mound volume is in a single mound, Monks Mound, which towers some thirty meters high over the American Bottom locality in Illinois across the Mississippi River from Saint Louis. While archaeologists agree on the importance and size of the site, there has been considerable argument over exactly what kind of society was responsible for such grand works. Indeed, the study of the Mississippian cultures (as they are called by archaeologists) has become recognized as central to the understanding of societies that balance on the cusp between tribal organization and the full-fledged development of class-based, state-level political organizations.

The two books are very different in tone and represent only part of the range of interpretation of this complex site, namely the view that has sometimes been characterized as "exaggerationalist." To achieve full balance in treatment, these volumes should be read together with more "minimalist" interpretations such as George Milner's The Cahokia Chiefdom: The Archaeology of a Mississippian Society. (Smithsonian Press, 1998) or the earlier work by Mark W. Mehrer, Cahokia's Countryside: Household Archaeology, Settlement Patterns and Social Power. (Northern Illinois University Press, De Kalb, 1995).

Young and Fowler's account of Cahokia is an historical account of the development of Cahokia archaeology from what began as research carried out under the program (paradigm) of what was known as "culture history." It is more than that, however, since it is an intensely personal and biographical treatment of Illinois archaeology during the career of the junior author, indicated in third person as "Fowler" throughout the text. This book is an important memoir of one of the senior practitioners of Illinois archaeology in the post WW. II period. As such, the volume is important, not only as a chronicle of Illinois archaeology, but also as a document of the attitudes and difficulties faced by the postwar archaeologists not from the upper class background typical before the war. Such personal accounts have been rare in archaeology, and this book is destined to be commonly cited in future histories of archaeology in America. If its view of Cahokian society is rather grand, at least in the eyes of the minimalists, it is nonetheless, a useful introduction to the field. I should note that the terms metropolis, urban, and city used in the book are, as acknowledged by Fowler in his introduction (p. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Cahokia and the Archeology of Power / Cahokia: The Great Native American Metropolis
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.