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CahokiaA World Renewal Cult Heterarchy$
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A. Martin Byers

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780813029580

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813029580.001.0001

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Cahokian Mortuary Practices

Cahokian Mortuary Practices

The Media of World Renewal Ritual

Chapter:
(p.296) 12 Cahokian Mortuary Practices
Source:
Cahokia
Author(s):

A. Martin Byers

Publisher:
University Press of Florida
DOI:10.5744/florida/9780813029580.003.0012

This chapter uses the mortuary data of the Mississippian period of the American Bottom as evidence in support of the heterarchical polyistic locale-centric account, in general, and of the World Renewal Cult Heterarchy model, in particular. It is noted that under a hierarchical monistic modular polity system based on proprietary corporate clans, a unitary CBL system should exist, with a strong emphasis on primary burial and with variation in artifact and burial facilities correlated with the presence or absence of ranked clans and specialization. It is also clear that the nature of the clan-cult relation in a polyistic-type social system is a function of the relative degree of polluting that everyday settlement and subsistence practices are perceived to be generating. An analysis is initiated by concentrating on four American Bottom mortuary sites that have been excavated and/or analyzed using modern archaeological standards: the East St. Louis Stone Quarry site, the Kane Mounds site, the Wilson Mound, and Mound 72. The Wilson Mound is interpreted by George Milner as an elite cemetery, although a distinctly “lesser elite” cemetery.

Keywords:   American Bottom, world renewal ritual, World Renewal Cult Heterarchy model, mortuary, East St. Louis Stone Quarry site, Kane Mounds site, Wilson Mound, Mound 72

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