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Figurines, flint clay sourcing, the Ozark Highlands, and Cahokian acquisition

American Antiquity

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Abstract

At the pinnacle of Eastern Woodlands' prehistoric cultural development, Cahokia has been interpreted as a political and economic power participating in prestige-goods exchanges and trade networks stretching from the Great Plains to the South Atlantic. Among the more spectacular of the Cahokian elite artifacts were stone pipes and figurines made from a distinctive red stone previously identified as Arkansas bauxite. In this research, we used a combination of X-ray diffraction, sequential acid dissolution, and inductively coupled plasma analyses to establish the source of the raw material used in the manufacture of the red figurines and pipes that epitomize the Cahokian-style. Our research demonstrates that these objects were made of locally available flint clays. This finding, in conjunction with other evidence, indicate Cahokian exploitation of many mineral and stone resources focuses on the northern Ozark Highlands to the exclusion of other areas. These findings indicate that we must reassess the direction, extent, and role of Cahokian external contacts and trade in elite goods. Copyright ?? 2000 by the Society for American Archaeology.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Figurines, flint clay sourcing, the Ozark Highlands, and Cahokian acquisition
Series title:
American Antiquity
Volume
65
Issue:
1
Year Published:
2000
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
American Antiquity
First page:
79
Last page:
101
Number of Pages:
23