This chapter synthesizes the patterns presented in the book to reconstruct what life was like for Audrey Mississippians. It discusses the implications of these findings for the limits of Cahokia’s economic control and political influence and the nature of culture contact dynamics north of the American Bottom. The Lower Illinois River Valley’s proximity to Cahokia did in fact result in more changes to social organization at Audrey than observed in the northern hinterland. Audrey inhabitants nevertheless maintained certain Woodland-era conventions and hybridized others, generating new Mississippian traditions in the process. Finally, a discussion of exotic materials north of Cahokia characterizes a spirit of exchange and interaction between and among these diverse regions that likely fueled the Mississippianization of the north.
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