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Interrogating Diaspora and Movement in the Greater Cahokian World

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Abstract

Archaeological and isotopic evidence from Greater Cahokia and several prominent outlier sites argues against simple diaspora models either for the rise or fall of this pre-Columbian urban phenomenon. Besides indications that a culturally diverse population was associated with the city throughout its history, we argue that a spiritual vitality undergirded its origins such that many movements of people would have been two-way affairs. Some Cahokians who ultimately left the city may have been members of foreign lineages in the beginning.

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Acknowledgments

The information on which this article is based was primarily gathered as a part of earlier research on the East St. Louis New Mississippi Bridge Archaeological project funded by the Illinois Department of Transportation and the Emerald Acropolis Project funded by John Templeton Foundation (JTF; grant 51485), by the Religion and Human Affairs program of the Historical Society of Boston, sponsored by the JTF, and by the National Science Foundation (grant 1349157). We thank all of our many colleagues who participated in that research. We also appreciated the comments of three anonymous reviewers that helped sharpen the interpretation presented here.

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Emerson, T.E., Hedman, K.M., Brennan, T.K. et al. Interrogating Diaspora and Movement in the Greater Cahokian World. J Archaeol Method Theory 27, 54–71 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10816-019-09436-8

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