The History and Outcome of Factional Competition in Cahokia

A. Martin Byers

in Cahokia

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print August 2006 | ISBN: 9780813029580
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813039183 | DOI:
The History and Outcome of Factional Competition in Cahokia

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This chapter provides an overall summary of the history of the factional competition that strongly influenced the development and, finally, the abandonment of Cahokia. It first introduces the speculative possibilities of the post-Cahokian era. It is noted that the late Mississippian period social system of the American Bottom not only was manifesting strong trends toward reestablishing an integrated settlement articulation mode of villages, but also that this was occurring in a milieu characterized by growing intercult hostility promoting the joint and specialized leadership of the senior and junior age-grades, the former focusing largely on the religious role and the latter on the military role. It also demonstrates how the theoretical scheme presented can be used to address and resolve a set of puzzles that a major scholarly proponent of the hierarchical monistic modular polity account has noted and analyzed in detail. It then reviews the anomalous data, critique the account, and presents the alternatives. Several important empirical anomalies of the hierarchical monistic modular polity account of the American Bottom archaeological record are covered and the theoretical infelicities that generate them are critiqued. In addition, the demise of Cahokia is described.

Keywords: Cahokia; factional competition; American Bottom; social system; hierarchical monistic modular polity

Chapter.  10359 words. 

Subjects: Prehistoric Archaeology

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