Cahokia

Cahokia

Cahokia adalah taman bersejarah modern di Collinsville, Illinois, yang melingkupi situs kota pra-Columbus terbesar di benua Amerika Utara. Nama asli kota ini telah hilang – Cahokia adalah sebutan modern dari suku yang tinggal di dekatnya pada abad ke-19 – tetapi berkembang antara c. 600-c. 1350 M.

Kota ini tampaknya awalnya tumbuh secara organik karena semakin banyak orang pindah ke wilayah tersebut (pada puncaknya, memiliki populasi lebih dari 15.000 orang) tetapi struktur pusat – gundukan besar yang menjadi ciri situs – direncanakan dan dilaksanakan dengan hati-hati dan akan memiliki melibatkan tenaga kerja besar yang bekerja setiap hari selama setidaknya sepuluh tahun untuk menciptakan bahkan yang terkecil dari 120 yang pernah naik di atas kota (80 di antaranya masih ada). Kota berkembang melalui rute perdagangan jarak jauh yang berjalan ke segala arah yang memungkinkan untuk pembangunan perkotaan. Ada alun-alun yang luas untuk pedagang, area perumahan untuk rakyat jelata dan satu lagi untuk kelas atas, lapangan bola, lapangan bermain untuk permainan yang dikenal sebagai Chunkey, ladang jagung dan tanaman lainnya, kalender matahari dari tiang kayu, dan gundukan yang berfungsi sebagai tempat tinggal, terkadang kuburan, dan untuk tujuan keagamaan dan politik.

Selama bertahun-tahun, orang-orang Cahokia dianggap "menghilang secara misterius" tetapi penggalian dari tahun 1960-an hingga sekarang telah membuktikan bahwa mereka meninggalkan kota, kemungkinan besar karena kelebihan penduduk dan bencana alam seperti gempa bumi dan banjir, dan kemudian dihuni kembali oleh suku-suku Konfederasi Illinois, salah satunya adalah Cahokia. Saat ini, Cahokia adalah Situs Warisan Dunia UNESCO dan situs arkeologi berkelanjutan seluas 2.200 hektar (890 ha) yang dikunjungi oleh jutaan orang dari seluruh dunia setiap tahun.

Gundukan tanah besar melayani tujuan keagamaan dalam mengangkat kepala di atas rakyat biasa & lebih dekat ke matahari, yang mereka sembah.

Budaya & Gundukan Mississippi

Penunjukan modern Budaya Mississippi mengacu pada penduduk asli Amerika yang mendiami Lembah Sungai Mississippi, Lembah Sungai Ohio, dan Lembah Sungai Tennessee, terutama, tetapi tersebar di komunitas yang terpisah sampai ke Louisiana saat ini serta menunjuk ke utara dan timur. Dua yang paling terkenal adalah Budaya Adena (c. 800 SM-1 M) dan Budaya Hopewell (c. 100 SM-500 M) yang suku-sukunya mendiami Virginia, Virginia Barat, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, dan Indiana modern. . Nama keduanya adalah sebutan modern: Adena adalah nama tanah milik Gubernur Ohio abad ke-19 Thomas Worthington di luar Chillcothe, Ohio di mana sebuah gundukan kuno berada dan Hopewell adalah nama seorang petani yang lahannya kemudian gundukan lagi. telah menemukan.

Meskipun masyarakat tampaknya beragam dalam tanaman yang ditanam dan kerajinan yang dihasilkan, mereka semua membangun gundukan tanah besar yang melayani tujuan keagamaan dalam mengangkat kepala, yang mungkin juga adalah imam, di atas rakyat jelata dan lebih dekat ke matahari, yang mereka sembah. sebagai sumber kehidupan. Penguasa kota menyebut dirinya "Saudara Matahari" dan bekerja dengan para pendeta untuk menghormati semua dewa dan roh dunia gaib. Keyakinan agama masyarakat Mississippi, serta penduduk asli Amerika pada umumnya, diringkas oleh sarjana Alan Taylor:

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Penduduk asli Amerika Utara menganut "animisme": keyakinan bahwa supernatural adalah jaringan kekuatan yang kompleks dan beragam yang dijalin ke setiap bagian dunia alami. Memang, orang India tidak membuat perbedaan antara alam dan supranatural. Dalam pikiran mereka, kekuatan spiritual tidak tunggal atau transenden, tetapi beragam dan ada di mana-mana. Dunia mereka dipenuhi dengan berbagai makhluk yang hampir tak terbatas, masing-masing memiliki beberapa ukuran kekuatan yang berbeda-beda. Semua makhluk hidup termasuk dalam matriks kompleks yang secara bersamaan bersifat spiritual dan material. Memang, kekuatan roh dapat ditemukan di setiap tanaman, hewan, batu, angin, awan, dan badan air – tetapi dalam konsentrasi yang lebih besar di beberapa daripada yang lain. (18)

Gundukan paling awal yang tertanggal sejauh ini adalah Ouachita Mound di Louisiana yang dibangun lebih dari 5.400 tahun yang lalu.

Diperkirakan bahwa masyarakat Mississippi membangun gundukan mereka untuk memfokuskan kekuatan spiritual di lokasi sentral di komunitas mereka. Para pendeta atau pendeta-raja yang melakukan ritual di gundukan ini diyakini dapat memanfaatkan kekuatan ini untuk melindungi orang-orang dan memastikan curah hujan yang teratur dan panen yang melimpah. Gundukan paling awal yang tertanggal sejauh ini adalah Ouachita Mound di Louisiana yang dibangun lebih dari 5.400 tahun yang lalu dan gundukan kemudian telah ditemukan dari Ohio ke Florida dan pantai timur ke Midwest. Tidak ada yang tahu apa yang orang-orang ini sebut diri mereka sendiri, tetapi mereka sering disebut sebagai "Pembangun gundukan" karena budaya mereka dicirikan terutama oleh gundukan yang mereka tinggalkan. Cendekiawan Charles C. Mann menjelaskan berbagai gundukan:

Sebagian besar pekerjaan tanah berbentuk seperti kerucut besar dan piramida berundak, tetapi beberapa dipahat menjadi burung besar, kadal, beruang, "buaya" berekor panjang dan, di Peebles, Ohio, ular sepanjang 1.330 kaki...Tidak ada gundukan tanah. menutupi penguburan atau mengandung artefak atau menunjukkan tanda-tanda penggunaan. Memang, mereka tampaknya [memiliki] sedikit tujuan. (290-291)

Mann menekankan tampaknya karena, seperti yang dia jelaskan, gundukan itu “bersaksi tentang tingkat otoritas publik dan organisasi sipil” karena “membangun cincin gundukan dengan keranjang atau kulit rusa yang penuh kotoran adalah usaha jangka panjang” yang membutuhkan otoritas pusat yang mampu mendelegasikan tugas dan mengawasi aspek termasuk logistik, pasokan makanan, perumahan, dan shift kerja (291-292). Tokoh otoritas Adena dan kemudian budaya Hopewell juga bertanggung jawab atas penanaman tembakau yang digunakan dalam ritual keagamaan yang berlangsung di atas gundukan ini, di luar pandangan orang, atau di dataran tinggi buatan yang dibuat di tengah atau di bawah. di bawah gundukan tempat ritual umum dilakukan.

Bangkitnya Cahokia & Gundukan Besar

Budaya Hopewell adalah pendahulu langsung bagi orang-orang yang membangun Cahokia tetapi keduanya tidak dianggap sama. Satu perbedaan penting adalah pada tanaman yang mereka tanam. Adena/Hopewell membudidayakan jelai, tetua rawa, rumput mayo, dan knotweed, antara lain sementara orang-orang Cahokia telah menemukan jagung, labu, dan kacang-kacangan – yang disebut “tiga saudara perempuan – dan menanam tanaman besar dari ketiganya. Cahokia diperkirakan dimulai sebagai desa kecil lainnya, salah satunya, terletak di antara hutan dan sungai di dataran luas yang kondusif untuk pertanian. Bagaimana perkembangannya tidak diketahui tetapi para arkeolog yang telah bekerja di situs tersebut mengklaim bahwa kemungkinan besar pembangunan gundukan terbesar - yang dikenal sebagai Monk's Mound hari ini - yang membawa orang-orang dari komunitas lain ke kota baru.

Otoritas agama diperkirakan telah mengirimkan kabar bahwa mereka akan membangun sebuah gundukan besar dan, menurut satu pandangan, orang-orang dari berbagai daerah datang untuk berpartisipasi; menurut yang lain, otoritas pusat mewajibkan pekerja dari komunitas lain sebagai kerja paksa. Teori kedua ini telah ditentang, bagaimanapun, karena tidak ada bukti dari orang-orang yang diperbudak di situs tersebut. Mann mengutip ahli geografi dan arkeolog William Woods dari University of Kansas, yang telah menggali di Cahokia selama lebih dari 20 tahun, dalam menggambarkan pembangunan gundukan besar itu:

Monks Mound [sebutan untuk sekelompok biarawan Trappist yang tinggal di dekatnya pada abad ke-18 dan 19] adalah proyek konstruksi pertama dan paling megah. Intinya adalah lempengan tanah liat dengan panjang sekitar 900 kaki, lebar 650 kaki, dan tinggi lebih dari 20 kaki. Dari sudut pandang teknik, tanah liat tidak boleh dipilih sebagai bahan bantalan untuk monumen tanah yang besar. Tanah liat mudah menyerap air, mengembang seperti itu. Tanah liat American Bottom, yang dikenal sebagai tanah liat smektit, sangat rentan terhadap pembengkakan: volumenya dapat meningkat hingga delapan kali lipat. Pengeringan, menyusut kembali ke dimensi aslinya. Seiring waktu, naik-turun akan menghancurkan apa pun yang dibangun di atasnya. Untuk meminimalkan ketidakstabilan, Cahokian menjaga lempengan pada tingkat kelembaban yang konstan: basah tetapi tidak terlalu basah. Melembabkan tanah liat itu mudah – aksi kapiler akan menarik air dari dataran banjir, yang memiliki muka air tanah yang tinggi. Triknya adalah untuk menghentikan penguapan dari mengeringkan bagian atas. Dalam tampilan yang mengesankan dari kecerdasan teknik, orang-orang Cahokian membungkus lempengan itu, menyegelnya dari udara dengan membungkusnya dengan lapisan pasir dan tanah liat yang tipis dan bergantian. Pasir bertindak sebagai perisai untuk lempengan. Air naik melalui tanah liat untuk memenuhinya, tetapi tidak dapat melanjutkan lebih jauh karena pasir terlalu longgar untuk aksi kapiler lebih lanjut. Air juga tidak bisa menguap; lapisan tanah liat di atas pasir menekan dan mencegah masuknya udara. Selain itu, pasir memungkinkan air hujan mengalir keluar dari gundukan, mencegahnya membengkak terlalu banyak. Hasil akhirnya meliputi hampir lima belas hektar dan merupakan struktur tanah terbesar di Belahan Barat; meskipun dibangun dari bahan yang tidak cocok di dataran banjir, itu telah berdiri selama seribu tahun. (296-298)

Karena orang Cahokian tidak memiliki hewan beban dan tidak memiliki gerobak, semua tanah yang digunakan untuk membangun Monks Mound harus dibawa dengan tangan. Karena gundukan itu berisi sekitar 814.000 meter kubik tanah, ini akan menjadi proyek pembangunan monumental yang membutuhkan tenaga kerja besar dan diperkirakan masuknya pekerja ini menyebabkan perkembangan kota. Setelah Monks Mound selesai, atau ketika sedang berlangsung (seperti yang diperkirakan telah dibangun secara bertahap), gundukan lain dibangun serta kuil-kuil seperti yang pernah berada di puncak Monks Mound. Beberapa gundukan ini memiliki tempat tinggal kelas atas yang dibangun di atas datar mereka, yang lain berfungsi sebagai situs pemakaman (seperti dalam kasus makam penguasa yang terkenal yang dikenal sebagai Birdman, dikuburkan dengan 50 korban kurban) dan tujuan lainnya. tidak diketahui.

Kehidupan Sehari-hari & Kenyamanan

Meskipun Cahokians tidak meninggalkan catatan tertulis tentang kehidupan mereka, artefak, barang kuburan, dan laporan kemudian dari penjelajah Prancis dan Spanyol mengenai tradisi penduduk asli Amerika di wilayah tersebut menjelaskan kehidupan sehari-hari masyarakat. Mann memberikan gambaran tentang kota pada puncaknya:

Kano melayang seperti burung kolibri melintasi tepi lautnya: para pedagang membawa tembaga dan mutiara dari tempat-tempat yang jauh; pesta berburu dengan membawa makanan langka seperti kerbau dan rusa; utusan dan tentara di kapal panjang penuh dengan persenjataan; pekerja mengangkut kayu dari hulu untuk api masak yang selalu lapar; nelayan di mana-mana dengan jaring dan tongkat mereka. Meliputi lima mil persegi dan menampung setidaknya lima belas ribu orang, Cahokia adalah konsentrasi penduduk terbesar di utara Rio Grande hingga abad kedelapan belas. (297-298)

Selain itu, akan ada pekerja di gundukan, pedagang di alun-alun, pekerja tembaga membuat piring, mangkuk, dan pipa, penenun keranjang di tempat kerja, wanita merawat anak-anak dan tanaman, dan penebang yang bolak-balik antara kota dan kota. hutan yang menebang pohon untuk kayu untuk pembangunan rumah, kuil, bangunan lain, dan benteng yang mengelilingi kota, mungkin untuk melindunginya dari banjir. Tidak mungkin benteng itu dibangun untuk pertahanan karena tidak ada komunitas lain di daerah itu dengan kekuatan atau jumlah untuk melancarkan serangan apa pun ke Cahokia. Pendeta astrologi akan bekerja di kalender matahari dekat Monks Mound yang dikenal sebagai Woodhenge, sebuah lingkaran kayu dari 48 tiang dengan satu tiang di tengahnya, yang digunakan untuk memetakan langit dan, seperti di banyak situs kuno, menandai matahari terbit di titik balik musim semi dan musim gugur serta titik balik matahari musim panas dan musim dingin.

Kegiatan rekreasi termasuk permainan bola yang mirip dengan lacrosse modern dan lainnya yang dikenal sebagai Chunkey (juga diberikan sebagai tchung-kee) di mana dua pemain memegang tongkat berukir, berlekuk dan "batu chunkey", piringan batu bundar yang dihaluskan dan dipoles , kadang-kadang terukir, yang digulung di depan mereka. Saat piringan mulai bergoyang dan berhenti, para pemain akan melempar tongkat mereka, mencoba mendarat sedekat mungkin dengan batu. Pemain mana pun yang paling dekat mencetak poin dan takik pada tongkat menunjukkan seberapa tinggi atau rendah poin itu. Pemain pertama yang mencetak 12 poin adalah pemenangnya. Hanya laki-laki yang diizinkan bermain Chunkey, tetapi siapa pun dapat bertaruh pada permainan dan tampaknya taruhan ini sering kali tinggi. Para pecundang, baik taruhan maupun permainan, menganggap keduanya begitu serius sehingga terkadang mereka bunuh diri daripada hidup dengan rasa malu.

Penyebab Pengabaian

Sebagai pusat kota terbesar di benua itu, Cahokia menjadi pusat ibadah dan perdagangan agama. Pada puncaknya, berdasarkan artefak yang digali, kota ini diperdagangkan sejauh utara Kanada saat ini dan selatan ke Meksiko serta ke timur dan barat. Pendeta tampaknya telah memisahkan diri dari otoritas politik di beberapa titik dan mendirikan imamat turun-temurun yang terus melakukan layanan di atas Monks Mound serta di dataran tinggi buatan di bawah dan ini dianggap menarik pengunjung ke kota untuk berpartisipasi.

Namun, keberhasilan Cahokia pada akhirnya menyebabkan kejatuhan dan pengabaian, karena kelebihan populasi menghabiskan sumber daya dan upaya untuk meningkatkan kehidupan masyarakat akhirnya memperburuk keadaan. Pasokan air kota adalah sungai kecil (Cahokia Creek) yang dialihkan oleh orang Cahokian sehingga bergabung dengan sungai lain (sekarang Cahokia Creek), membawa lebih banyak air ke kota untuk memasok populasi yang terus bertambah. Penggabungan kedua aliran tersebut juga memungkinkan penebang kayu untuk mengirimkan kayu gelondongan mereka ke hilir ke kota daripada harus membawanya lebih jauh dan lebih jauh karena hutan surut karena penebangan.

Dengan berkurangnya tutupan pohon dan sistem akar di dataran tinggi kota, hujan lebat tidak menyerap apa pun dan mengalir ke anak sungai, menyebabkan banjir, terutama anak sungai yang sekarang menyatu, yang menghancurkan tanaman. Benteng yang dibangun untuk melindungi kota dari banjir tidak berguna karena anak sungai yang menyatu membawa air langsung ke kota sehingga rumah juga rusak.

Gempa bumi di beberapa titik di abad ke-13 merobohkan bangunan dan kelebihan penduduk menyebabkan kondisi tidak sehat dan penyebaran penyakit.

Menyadari kesalahan mereka, orang-orang Cahokian mulai menanami kembali hutan tetapi sudah terlambat. Pendeta, yang dianggap bertanggung jawab atas kemalangan rakyat karena mereka jelas gagal menafsirkan kehendak para dewa dan menenangkan mereka, memulai reformasi, meninggalkan ritual rahasia di atas Bukit Biksu untuk transparansi penuh di depan rakyat di dataran tinggi tetapi upaya ini, juga, datang terlambat dan merupakan isyarat yang tidak efektif. Pendeta, yang semuanya adalah kelas atas dan, sebagaimana dicatat, telah membentuk sistem kontrol turun-temurun, tampaknya telah mencoba menyelamatkan muka dan mempertahankan kekuasaan alih-alih mengakui bahwa mereka entah bagaimana gagal dan mencari pengampunan dan ini, ditambah dengan yang lain. kesulitan, tampaknya telah menyebabkan kerusuhan sipil.

Gempa bumi di beberapa titik di abad ke-13 merobohkan bangunan dan, pada saat yang sama, kelebihan penduduk menyebabkan kondisi tidak bersih dan penyebaran penyakit. Beberapa cendekiawan sekarang percaya bahwa orang berulang kali diundang untuk tinggal di kota untuk menggantikan mereka yang telah meninggal dan kuburan yang berisi korban nyata dari pengorbanan manusia menunjukkan bahwa orang-orang menjadi putus asa untuk bantuan dari dewa-dewa mereka (walaupun pengorbanan manusia dipraktekkan sebelumnya sebagai terlihat di makam penguasa yang disebut sebagai Birdman). Bukti perang saudara atau setidaknya kerusuhan sosial berskala besar menunjukkan semacam bentrokan kekerasan c. 1250 M dan meskipun upaya telah dilakukan untuk memperbaiki kerusakan yang disebabkan oleh banjir dan gempa bumi, otoritas pusat apa pun yang telah menjaga ketertiban sebelumnya tampaknya telah runtuh; oleh c. 1350 M kota itu telah ditinggalkan.

Kesimpulan

Ketika gundukan Cahokia pertama kali dicatat oleh orang Eropa pada abad ke-19, gundukan itu dianggap sebagai formasi alami oleh sebagian orang dan karya berbagai bangsa Eropa atau Asia oleh sebagian lainnya. Catatan Mann:

Penulis abad kesembilan belas menghubungkan kompleks gundukan itu dengan, antara lain, orang Cina, Welsh, Fenisia, bangsa Atlantis yang hilang, dan berbagai tokoh alkitabiah. Sebuah teori yang dipuji secara luas menugaskan kepenulisan kepada emigran Skandinavia, yang kemudian mengambil taruhan, pindah ke Meksiko, dan menjadi Toltec. (289-290)

Seperti Maya ketika mereka "ditemukan", penulis Eropa dan Amerika menolak untuk percaya bahwa gundukan diciptakan oleh penduduk asli Amerika meskipun salah satu intelektual Amerika terbesar abad ke-18, Thomas Jefferson, telah memeriksa gundukan dan menyatakan mereka " asal India”.

Misteri besar tentang siapa para pembangun itu diperkuat oleh pertanyaan ke mana mereka pergi. Hilangnya masyarakat Cahokia secara “misterius” masih menjadi perbincangan beberapa penulis dan produser video hingga saat ini. Tidak ada misteri hilangnya mereka, bagaimanapun, situs tersebut juga tidak ditinggalkan secara permanen di c. 1350 M.

Pekerjaan terbaru yang dilakukan di Cahokia menunjukkan secara meyakinkan bahwa kota itu dihuni kembali oleh suku-suku Konfederasi Illinois. Mahasiswa doktoral A.J. White dari University of California, Berkeley, mempelopori tim yang menetapkan bahwa Cahokia dihuni kembali pada tahun 1500-an dan mempertahankan populasi yang stabil melalui tahun 1700-an ketika penyakit yang ditularkan melalui Eropa, perubahan iklim, dan peperangan akhirnya menyebabkan penurunan dan ditinggalkannya kota, meskipun beberapa orang terus tinggal di sana hingga awal 1800-an. Orang-orang ini, bagaimanapun, tidak tahu siapa yang membangun gundukan, meninggalkan pertanyaan terbuka untuk spekulasi.

Meskipun Cahokia dikenal oleh para cendekiawan abad ke-19, tidak ada penggalian profesional atas situs tersebut yang dicoba sampai tahun 1960-an dan, sejak itu, pekerjaan arkeologi di sana terus berlanjut. Seperti dicatat, Cahokia hari ini adalah Situs Warisan Dunia UNESCO yang terbuka untuk umum dengan pusat interpretatif dan museum, jalan setapak dan tangga di antara dan di atas gundukan, dan acara yang diadakan untuk memperingati, menghormati, dan mengajarkan sejarah orang-orang yang pernah tinggal di sana. .


Studi Mengatakan Cahokia, Kota Pertama Amerika, Adalah Melting Pot

Gigi penduduk kuno menunjukkan bahwa imigrasi besar-besaran mungkin telah mendorong pertumbuhan eksplosif kota.

Seribu tahun setelah kota penduduk asli Amerika yang dikenal sebagai Cahokia tumbuh di dataran banjir di timur St. Louis, Missouri, kisah kelahirannya yang eksplosif dan penurunan drastis tetap menjadi salah satu misteri besar Amerika. (Baca "Cahokia: America's Forgotten City" di majalah National Geographic.)

Tetapi sebuah studi baru yang diterbitkan dalam Journal of Archaeological Science mungkin memberi pencerahan baru tentang bagaimana kota yang berpenduduk ribuan ini—mungkin 20.000 atau lebih—terbentuk hanya dalam waktu 50 tahun.

Dengan memeriksa kandungan strontium pada gigi dari sisa-sisa 87 Cahokian kuno dan membandingkannya dengan tanda tangan strontium fauna lokal, tim yang dipimpin oleh Thomas Emerson dari University of Illinois di Urbana-Champaign telah menyimpulkan bahwa setidaknya sepertiga dari Cahokia penduduk berimigrasi dari daerah di luar dataran banjir yang dikenal sebagai American Bottom.

Bagaimana mereka mencapai kesimpulan ini, dan apa artinya ini bagi pemahaman kita tentang Cahokia? Dalam sebuah wawancara awal pekan ini, penulis Glenn Hodges mengajukan pertanyaan-pertanyaan ini kepada Emerson, yang juga Arkeolog Negara Bagian Illinois.

Pertama-tama, bagaimana cara kerja tanda tangan strontium?

Pada dasarnya, ini bekerja di bawah prinsip bahwa Anda adalah apa yang Anda makan. Strontium berada di batuan dasar di seluruh dunia. Ini larut ke dalam pasokan air, air diserap oleh hewan dan tumbuhan, manusia mengkonsumsi hewan dan tumbuhan, dan strontium bergerak ke tulang dan gigi mereka.

Strontium bervariasi menurut jenis batuan dasar, dan itulah yang memungkinkan kita menggunakan strontium untuk mengetahui di mana seseorang dibesarkan. Untuk menentukan ciri khas Cahokia, kami menggunakan mamalia kecil yang mungkin tidak pernah bergerak lebih dari satu mil dari tempat mereka dilahirkan—tupai, kelinci, dll.

Jadi Anda mengambil data hewan itu sebagai dasar, dan membandingkannya dengan strontium di gigi manusia.

Ya. Ada satu set gigi yang matang ketika Anda berusia sekitar lima atau enam tahun, dan ada set kedua yang matang antara enam dan enam belas tahun. Jadi kami melihat orang-orang yang gigi susunya menunjukkan bahwa mereka tinggal di tempat yang berbeda, tetapi pada saat mereka remaja, mereka tinggal di Cahokia. Setelah Anda melampaui kelompok usia 16-18 tahun itu, kami tidak dapat mengenali imigran lagi.

Bagaimana Anda mengekstrapolasi dari 87 individu menjadi sepertiga populasi?

Anda harus berasumsi bahwa sampel Anda representatif. Kami mengakses hampir semua jenazah individu yang ditahan di institusi. Populasi yang tersedia untuk pengujian hanya sekecil itu.

Jadi jika sepertiga dari sampel Anda berimigrasi di masa muda mereka, proporsi sebenarnya dari imigran mungkin lebih tinggi? Karena Anda harus membayangkan bahwa anak-anak ini datang dengan orang tua yang sudah memiliki semua gigi dewasa mereka.

Ya. Jadi jumlahnya mungkin lebih tinggi. Kami hanya tidak memiliki cara untuk mendapatkan itu sekarang.

Apakah Anda tahu dari mana para imigran itu, atau Anda hanya tahu bahwa mereka bukan dari daerah Cahokia?

Tingkat penelitian kami saat ini terbatas untuk mengidentifikasi imigran. Untuk memahami dari mana mereka berasal, kita harus memperluas basis data strontium di seluruh benua tengah, dan penelitian itu belum dilakukan.

Apakah penelitian itu ada di cakrawala?

Ya itu. Kami memulainya pada tahun 2009 dengan pekerjaan awal, dan sekarang kami ingin memperluas basis data tersebut.

Menurut Anda, berapa lama waktu yang dibutuhkan untuk mendapatkan database yang dapat digunakan?

Mungkin dua sampai tiga tahun. Ini pada dasarnya mendapatkan jenis sampel yang tepat dan memprosesnya. Tentu saja, kita harus mendapatkan uang untuk melakukannya, tetapi penelitiannya cukup sederhana.

Jadi bagaimana ini mengubah gambaran kita tentang Cahokia? Bukankah sudah dipikirkan bahwa imigrasi merupakan faktor dalam pertumbuhan eksplosifnya?

Itu tergantung pada siapa Anda berbicara. Masih ada sekelompok arkeolog yang berpikir dalam istilah yang cukup tradisional—ya, ada beberapa imigran, tetapi populasi yang homogen semakin banyak.

Tetapi ketika Anda mulai berpikir tentang Cahokia sebagai multietnis dan mungkin multibahasa, dengan pertumbuhan populasi dan nukleasi yang masif [terbentuk di sekitar area pusat], Anda harus bertanya: Organisasi sosial, agama, dan politik macam apa yang Anda butuhkan untuk benar-benar membuat fungsi itu ? Ketika orang tidak memiliki kesamaan, bagaimana Anda menciptakan persatuan?

Dalam hal penelitian, ini adalah perubahan besar. Sekarang kita bisa melihat Cahokia dibandingkan dengan pertumbuhan kota-kota di seluruh dunia. Dari daerah lain kita tahu begitulah kota tumbuh, dengan imigrasi. Saya tidak peduli jika Anda melihat Roma London, atau Delhi, atau beberapa kota besar Cina, mereka sebenarnya adalah inti dari orang-orang yang berbeda.

Jadi, hal ini membawa Cahokia keluar dari mitologi romantis masa lalu India, dan menunjukkan bagaimana orang-orang ini menghadapi masalah yang sama seperti yang dihadapi orang-orang di seluruh dunia ketika Anda mulai melakukan urbanisasi. Ini memungkinkan Anda melakukan perbandingan lintas budaya dengan lebih banyak validitas.

Jadi Anda benar-benar berbicara tentang memperluas cakupan penelitian Cahokia, dan menghubungkannya dengan badan beasiswa yang lebih besar ini?

Pada dasarnya ada dua aliran pemikiran. Satu didasarkan pada interpretasi dan perspektif Cahokia yang sangat lokal, dan yang lainnya melihat Cahokia sebagai pemain dalam penelitian internasional.


Ide, Penemuan, dan Inovasi

Apa yang menyebabkan kota prasejarah Cahokia yang menakjubkan memudar?
Sebuah studi baru menunjukkan perubahan iklim mungkin telah berkontribusi pada penurunan Cahokia, sebuah kota prasejarah terkenal di dekat St. Louis saat ini. Dan itu melibatkan kotoran manusia purba.

Diterbitkan hari ini [Feb. 25, 2019] dalam Prosiding National Academy of Sciences, studi ini memberikan hubungan langsung antara perubahan ukuran populasi Cahokia yang diukur melalui catatan tinja yang unik dan data lingkungan yang menunjukkan bukti kekeringan dan banjir.

"Cara membangun rekonstruksi populasi biasanya melibatkan data arkeologi, yang terpisah dari data yang dipelajari oleh para ilmuwan iklim," jelas penulis utama AJ White, yang menyelesaikan pekerjaan sebagai mahasiswa pascasarjana di California State University, Long Beach. "Satu melibatkan penggalian dan survei sisa-sisa arkeologi dan yang lainnya melibatkan inti danau. Kami menyatukan keduanya dengan melihat kedua jenis data dari inti danau yang sama."

Tahun lalu, White dan tim kolaborator - termasuk mantan penasihatnya Lora Stevens, profesor paleoklimatologi dan paleolimnologi di California State University, Long Beach, dan Profesor Antropologi Universitas Wisconsin-Madison Sissel Schroeder - menunjukkan bahwa mereka dapat mendeteksi tanda-tanda kotoran manusia di sedimen inti danau yang dikumpulkan dari Danau Horseshoe, tidak jauh dari gundukan terkenal di Cahokia.

Tanda tangan ini, yang disebut stanol tinja, adalah molekul yang diproduksi di usus manusia selama pencernaan dan dihilangkan dalam tinja. Saat orang-orang Cahokia buang air besar di darat, beberapa di antaranya akan mengalir ke danau. Semakin banyak orang yang tinggal dan buang air besar di sana, semakin banyak stanol yang terlihat pada sedimen danau.

Karena sedimen danau menumpuk di lapisan, mereka memungkinkan para ilmuwan untuk menangkap snapshot waktu sepanjang sejarah suatu wilayah melalui inti sedimen. Lapisan yang lebih dalam terbentuk lebih awal daripada lapisan yang ditemukan lebih tinggi, dan semua materi di dalam lapisan kira-kira berusia sama.

White menemukan bahwa konsentrasi stanol tinja di Danau Horseshoe naik dan turun mirip dengan perkiraan populasi Cahokia dari metode arkeologi yang lebih mapan.

Schroeder, seorang sarjana dari daerah Cahokia, mengatakan bahwa penggalian rumah-rumah di dan dekat Cahokia menunjukkan pendudukan manusia di situs tersebut meningkat sekitar tahun 600 M, dan pada tahun 1100 kota seluas enam mil persegi mencapai populasi puncaknya. Pada saat itu, puluhan ribu orang menyebutnya rumah.

Bukti arkeologis juga menunjukkan bahwa pada tahun 1200, populasi Cahokia menurun dan situs tersebut ditinggalkan oleh penduduk Mississippian yang membangun gundukan pada tahun 1400.

Para ilmuwan telah menemukan sejumlah penjelasan untuk pengabaian akhirnya, termasuk kerusuhan sosial dan politik dan perubahan lingkungan.

Misalnya, pada tahun 2015, rekan penulis Samuel Munoz, mantan mahasiswa pascasarjana UW-Madison dan sekarang menjadi profesor di Universitas Northeastern, sebenarnya adalah orang pertama yang mengumpulkan salah satu inti sedimen Danau Horseshoe yang digunakan White dalam penelitiannya dan dia menemukan bukti bahwa Sungai Mississippi di dekatnya membanjiri secara signifikan sekitar tahun 1150.

Studi terbaru White mengaitkan bukti arkeologis dan lingkungan bersama-sama.

"Ketika kami menggunakan metode stanol tinja ini, kami dapat membuat perbandingan ini dengan kondisi lingkungan yang sampai sekarang belum benar-benar dapat kami lakukan," kata White, sekarang menjadi mahasiswa PhD di UC Berkeley.

Menggunakan inti Munoz dan White lain yang dikumpulkan di Horseshoe Lake, tim peneliti mengukur jumlah relatif stanol tinja dari manusia yang ada di lapisan sedimen. Mereka membandingkannya dengan tingkat stanol yang diketahui berasal dari bakteri di tanah untuk menetapkan konsentrasi dasar untuk setiap lapisan.

Mereka memeriksa inti danau untuk bukti banjir dan juga mencari indikator iklim yang akan memberi tahu mereka apakah kondisi iklim relatif basah atau kering. Indikator-indikator ini, rasio bentuk oksigen berat dengan oksigen ringan, dapat menunjukkan perubahan penguapan dan presipitasi. Stevens menjelaskan bahwa saat air menguap, bentuk oksigen yang ringan ikut serta, mengkonsentrasikan bentuk berat.

Inti danau menunjukkan bahwa curah hujan musim panas kemungkinan menurun sekitar awal penurunan Cahokia. Hal ini dapat mempengaruhi kemampuan masyarakat untuk menanam jagung tanaman pokok mereka.

Sejumlah perubahan yang berbeda mulai terjadi dalam catatan arkeologi sekitar tahun 1150, Schroeder menjelaskan, termasuk jumlah dan kepadatan rumah dan sifat produksi kerajinan.

Ini semua adalah indikator dari "semacam tekanan sosial-politik atau ekonomi yang mendorong semacam reorganisasi," katanya. "Ketika kita melihat korelasi dengan iklim, beberapa arkeolog tidak berpikir iklim ada hubungannya dengan itu, tetapi sulit untuk mempertahankan argumen itu ketika bukti perubahan signifikan dalam iklim menunjukkan orang menghadapi tantangan baru."

Ini memiliki resonansi hari ini, tambahnya.

"Budaya bisa sangat tangguh dalam menghadapi perubahan iklim tetapi ketahanan tidak berarti tidak ada perubahan. Mungkin ada reorganisasi budaya atau keputusan untuk pindah atau bermigrasi," kata Schroeder. "Kami mungkin melihat tekanan serupa hari ini tetapi lebih sedikit opsi untuk bergerak."

Bagi White, penelitian ini menyoroti nuansa dan komplikasi yang umum terjadi pada begitu banyak budaya dan menunjukkan bagaimana perubahan lingkungan dapat berkontribusi pada perubahan sosial yang sudah terjadi.


Studi ini didukung oleh Geological Society of America dan California State University, Long Beach.

Kontak dan sumber:
Sissel Schroeder, AJ White, Lora Stevens, Kelly April Tyrrell, Universitas Wisconsin-Madison


Mengapa Cahokia, Salah Satu Kota Pra-Hispanik Terbesar di Amerika Utara, Runtuh?

Pada puncaknya sekitar pergantian milenium pertama, Cahokia, sebuah kota di tempat yang sekarang bernama Illinois, adalah rumah bagi sebanyak 20.000 orang. Anggota budaya Mississippi Amerika Utara, penduduk Cahokia membangun gundukan tanah besar yang digunakan sebagai tempat tinggal, tempat pemakaman, tempat pertemuan, dan pusat upacara. per Washington PostNathan Seppa, komunitas yang ramai termasuk petani yang ditugaskan untuk menanam jagung, pengrajin yang membuat bejana dan patung tanah liat berornamen, dan bahkan astronom kuno yang melacak perjalanan waktu dengan bantuan lingkaran kayu seperti Stonehenge.

Cahokia tumbuh dari pemukiman kecil yang didirikan sekitar tahun 700 M menjadi kota metropolitan yang menyaingi London dan Paris pada tahun 1050. Namun hanya 200 tahun kemudian, peradaban yang dulu berkembang telah lenyap, meninggalkan koleksi tambal sulam pekerjaan tanah monumentalnya untuk alasan yang masih belum diketahui.

Teori tentang kematian Cahokia mulai dari bencana lingkungan hingga bentrokan politik dengan kelompok tetangga. Mengingat kurangnya bukti nyata yang ditinggalkan oleh orang-orang Mississippi, para sarjana kemungkinan tidak akan pernah tahu persis apa yang menyebabkan mereka meninggalkan rumah mereka.

Namun, penelitian baru tampaknya mengesampingkan setidaknya satu penjelasan yang sering dikutip: Seperti yang dilaporkan Glenn Hodges untuk Nasional geografis, sebuah tim yang dipimpin oleh Caitlin Rankin, seorang arkeolog di University of Illinois di Urbana-Champaign, telah menemukan bahwa tanah di sekitar salah satu gundukan Cahokia tetap stabil hingga pertengahan 1800-an setelah kepergian Mississippi. Analisis, diterbitkan dalam jurnal Geoarkeologi, membantah gagasan bahwa penduduk Cahokia memanen kayu secara berlebihan dari hutan di sekitarnya, memicu erosi dan banjir yang membuat daerah itu tidak dapat dihuni.

Archaeologist Caitlin Rankin conducts excavations at Cahokia. (Matt Gush)

“In this case, there was evidence of heavy wood use,” says Rankin in a statement. “But that doesn’t factor in the fact that people can reuse materials—much as you might recycle. We should not automatically assume that deforestation was happening, or that deforestation caused this event.”

Rankin began conducting excavations at Cahokia in 2017, when she was a doctoral student at Washington University in St. Louis, notes Nasional geografis. Upon studying soil samples collected near a creek at the site, she was surprised to find no traces of sediments associated with flooding. If the city’s ancient residents had, in fact, driven its ecosystem to doom through deforestation, the swath of low-lying land in question would almost certainly have flooded.

As Rankin tells Nasional geografis, the land overuse theory’s prevalence stems partly from Western-centric worldviews that conflate European colonizers’ exploitation of resources with Native American practices.

“That’s a Western mentality of resource exploitation—squeeze everything out of it that you can,” she explains. “[But] that’s not how it was in these Indigenous cultures.”

Scholars Neal Lopinot and William Woods of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville first proposed the land overuse theory in 1993. On the surface, the explanation makes sense: Cahokia’s infrastructure required ample amounts of wood, which was used to construct palisades, or log walls, as well as residential buildings and timber circles, according to Lee Bey of the Wali. But while the Mississippians may have cut down tens of thousands of trees, the soil samples analyzed by Rankin suggest that these actions weren’t intensive enough to trigger civilization-ending flooding.

Reconstructed palisades, or log walls, at the Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site (Joe Angeles / Washington University)

Because Cahokia’s inhabitants had no written language, researchers trying to puzzle out the metropolis’ mysteries must rely mainly on archaeological evidence. Clues come in many forms—among them human poop, as Lorraine Boissoneault wrote for Smithsonian magazine in 2018.

A.J. White, an archaeologist at the University of California, Berkeley, has spent the past several years studying coprostanol, a molecule produced in the gut when digesting food, to glean insights on Cahokia’s population over time. Last January, White and his colleagues published a study that similarly contradicts dominant narratives about the pre-Hispanic city. Far from remaining a “ghost town” in the centuries between its abandonment and modern rediscovery, Cahokia actually welcomed a new set of residents as early as 1500, per Kiona N. Smith of Ars Technica.

“[W]e were able to piece together a Native American presence in the area that endured for centuries,” said White in a 2020 statement.

Lopinot, one of the researchers who first raised the land overuse theory, tells Nasional geografis that he welcomes Rankin’s new take on the topic.

Ultimately, Lopinot adds, “Cahokia’s decline wasn’t something that happened overnight. It was a slow demise. And we don’t know why people were leaving. It might have been a matter of political factionalization, or warfare, or drought, or disease—we just don’t know.”


The Ancient City of Cahokia Was a Bustling Metropolis with a Population Similar to London’s, but It Was Inexplicably Abandoned by 1350

oleh Unbelievable Facts Mar 15, 2020, 11:54 pm Comments Off on The Ancient City of Cahokia Was a Bustling Metropolis with a Population Similar to London’s, but It Was Inexplicably Abandoned by 1350

Situated in present-day Illinois, Cahokia was once the largest cosmopolitan metropolis north of Mexico. It existed sometime around 1050 to 1350 CE and was mainly inhabited by the indigenous Mississippians who occupied a large portion of the southeastern United States. In its heyday, approximately four hundred years before Columbus set foot in the Americas, Cahokia was a bustling Native American city, and its population is said to have been higher than London’s at that same time. However, the city was abandoned by 1350, and no one knows why. Recent studies have shed some light as to what might have happened during that mysterious period.

Cahokia covered an area of approximately six to nine square miles and had around 10,000 to 20,000 residents in its prime.

The Cahokia site covered an area of nine square miles. Image credits: William R. Iseminger/Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site via Dailymail

Contrary to what many people might believe, Cahokia was a cosmopolitan and sophisticated city for its time. From the beginning itself, the city was carefully planned and laid out. It covered an area of six to nine square miles and had a unique mix of people as residents. People from all over the Mississippian-controlled region came to live here, and the Ofo, the Choctaw, the Pensacola, and the Natchez were some of the notable tribes. Many experts have likened Cahokia’s population diversity to that of early-day Manhattan. In fact, when archeologists studied the teeth of some of the buried remains and performed strontium tests, they discovered that a third of Cahokia’s population came from somewhere else.

Inside the borders of the city, there were around 120 mounds, thatched-roof houses, and broad public plazas. Cahokia also has the largest earthen mound in all of North America.

Image credits: Michael Hampshire/Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site via Smithsonianmag.com

The Native American residents of Cahokia hunted, traded, and farmed, but they were also excellent builders and early urban planners with ample knowledge of astronomical alignments. They were avid mound builders, and they hand-built around 120 earthen mounds inside the borders of the city. Building these mounds would have required backbreaking labor. The Mississippians would have had to dig up, haul, and stack over 55 million cubic feet of earth, and the mounds would have taken a few decades to build.

The largest mound, later named “Monk’s Mound,” was the central focus of Cahokia. It was a huge platform mound that was around 10 stories tall and has four terraces. The south-facing mound covered an area of 13.8 acres, and it was 836 feet wide, 951 feet long, and 100 feet high. The massive height and size of the mound were achieved over several centuries, and there were at least ten separate construction episodes.

According to archeologists, Monk’s Mound was also the site of a large building where the city’s spiritual and political leaders would meet. A wooden palisade surrounded the town center where leaders, pilgrims, and residents gathered to worship and perform various ceremonies. The majority of the Mississippians lived outside of the palisade in 12-foot-wide and 15-foot-long rectangular houses with a single room, wooden post walls, and a thatched roof.

Cahokia was not a campsite or a collection of villages. Rather, it was a planned city, where the houses were linked by pathways and courtyards which formed a shared, physical connection, much like modern streets do. Four huge plazas were built to the south, north, west, and east sides of Monk’s Mound. The Mississippians also planned an east-west road that connected Cahokia to present-day St. Louis.

Archeologists believe that Cahokia was originally built to serve as a pilgrimage site, but over time, a large number of people flocked to it and started residing here. Archeological evidence has also shed light on what life was like in this ancient city.

A diagram showing the various components of the ceremonial substructure platform mounds used by the Mississippian and Plaquemine cultures. Image credits: Herb Roe/Wikipedia

The Mississippians had a wide presence all throughout the eastern part of the United States. They had strategically built villages near important trade routes and sources of food and water. However, the same cannot be said about Cahokia. Although close to the Mississippi and Missouri rivers and rich in fish, deer, and timber, the area was flood-prone. So, it was risky to build a settlement there. That is why experts believe that Cahokia was most likely built as a pilgrimage site where the Mississippians would gather for important religious events. However, sometime around 1000 CE, it became a major religious center and drew residents from all over the continent.

In its prime, the city must have seen major activity. The men spent time hunting, cutting trees for construction, and growing and storing corn. Women, on the other hand, would tend to the homes and fields, weave fabrics and mats, make pottery, and perform social activities in the small gardens and courtyards that existed outside of every grouping of houses. Sacred ceremonies and meetings would be held at the plazas and in the buildings that were inside the palisade.

The Mississippians used the positions of the stars, the Moon, and the Sun to orient the city’s center in an east-west fashion. To the west of Monk’s Mound, there was a circle of tall poles that marked the winter and summer solstices as well as the fall and spring equinoxes. When studying the area, archeologists re-erected these poles and named them “Woodhenge.”

Cahokia’s decline is shrouded in mystery, as there are no clear indications as to why the Mississippians abandoned the city.

Despite becoming a major religious hub and population center around 1050 CE, Cahokia was largely abandoned by 1350, and no one knows what caused it. Neither European conquest nor war or disease can be blamed for this ancient city’s downfall. Climate change, drought, flooding, population movement, and internal conflict are thought to be some of the possible causes. In fact, archeologists might have found evidence to support the last one.

One of the mounds at Cahokia contained mass burials. Experts also suggest that the Mississippians might have practiced ritualistic human sacrifices. Though they did not face any outside threats, the residents might have doled out violence against each other. In the end, social and political unrest might have driven people out of this once cherished city. However, whatever went on in Cahokia apparently left a lasting negative impression, and tales of this ancient city have all but disappeared from Native American oral histories and folklore.

Recent studies and analysis of ancient human feces have revealed some important details.

For the longest time, experts believed that Cahokia was completely abandoned by the mid-1300s. However, recent studies have revealed that the area was indeed abandoned, but only briefly. When Columbus set sail, Cahokia had already started repopulating, and by 1650, its population had reached an all-time high. Archeologists reached this conclusion by examining fecal evidence, or in simpler terms, by studying ancient human poop.

Human poop contains certain molecular signatures called “stanols,” and rain washes these molecules into basins and lakes. That is why experts can study sediments and figure out how many people lived in nearby regions. After studying sediment cores taken from either side of the nearby Horseshoe Lake, archeologists were able to determine that the population in the area had increased sometime around 1500 CE.


Zahrawithaz

Cahokia was a massive city built by an American Indian civilization around the year 1050 CE on the east coast of the Mississippi River, near what is now St. Louis. The author of this book describes it as &ldquo3,200 acres of great pyramids, spacious plazas, thatched-roofed temples, houses, astronomical observatories and planned neighborhoods.&rdquo

A city on this scale would have been worthy of note even if had not contained, among its more than 120 flat-topped pyramids or mounds, the 3rd largest pyramid in the Americas. Yet Cahokia has been largely forgotten, its history disappeared. (Everyone I have told about this book, for instance, has never heard of it.)

This book&mdashpart of an intriguing series, the Penguin Library of American Indian History&mdashis a short, readable, entertaining introduction to Cahokia and its civilization. But I also found it a good introduction to my own ignorance.

I was staggered by the amount of things I did not know&mdashthat the first pyramids in the Americas were built not in Mexico or Peru but in the bayous of Louisiana, that there were four distinct &ldquoMound Builder&rdquo cultures in the Midwest. I had literally never heard of some of the peoples mentioned, like the Ho-Chunk, one of many groups thought to be descendants of the Cahokians (or their enemies).

I know that there&rsquos bitter history between many American Indians and the archaeologists who study their ancestors, but I don&rsquot know enough about these debates to evaluate where Timothy R. Pauketat steps into them. Generally, I felt he ignores the elephant in the room, which is the intense racism and genocide perpetrated by Euroamericans like myself on Native peoples.

The archaeological perspective on Native life has long been a white one, and tainted by bias. When Pauketat notes that two of the most important excavators of Cahokia, a husband and wife, found St. Louis &ldquoa great place to raise a family&rdquo and in the next breath mentions the city rigidly segregated blacks and whites under American-style apartheid, you sense the limitations of his perspective.

Despite this I felt I learned a lot about the effects of racism on the study of Cahokia, because its marks are obvious in the story Pauketat tells. In the 1800s most whites flat-out refused to believe that Native peoples had built the astonishing earthworks around them, speculating instead about a &ldquolost race&rdquo wiped out by the later, &ldquomore warlike&rdquo Amerindians. (Native peoples like the Illini knew they were the works of their ancestors.)

By the 20th century such delusions had passed, but long-standing and deep-rooted bias prevented experts from recognizing the scale and complexity of Cahokia&mdashthe fact that it was an actual city, not a sparsely populated &ldquoritual center.&rdquo In the 1970s and 1980s, archaeologists contorted much of their evidence to fit what Pauketat calls &ldquothe prevailing romantic view of American Indians as ecologically sensitive beings who would never have built a city.&rdquo I call this the Noble Savage myth, and believe this far from the only instance in which it has blocked recognition of the sophisticated ways Native peoples controlled and altered their landscapes. (Native forestry management, for example, transformed the environment as thoroughly as agriculture does.)

Above all, the most striking effect of racism on Cahokia is how much of the city has been destroyed, and how recently. Generations of Euroamerican farmers plowed down its monument for their crops and deliberately destroyed many pyramids (25 in St. Louis, 45 in East St. Louis) for development. In 1930, St. Louis leveled Cahokia&rsquos second-largest pyramid with a steam shovel. (This is even more appalling once you realize that these mounds were actually large-scale and elaborate burials.)

In the 1940s, an entire residential subdivision (including an in-ground swimming pool) was built on the Great Plaza. Two major highways, one from the 1960s, slice through the precinct of the largest pyramid and one of the main plazas. The effect is rather as if the government of Egypt had demolished the Sphinx at Giza to make way for a road.

Much of the initial excavation of the site occurred under the federal government&rsquos Works Progress Administration, which sanctioned digs to employ out-of-work laborers, who seem to have been white men, during the Depression. Providing employment for the descendants of the people who actually built Cahokia did not seem to be a priority.

One of the most important digs in the history of Cahokia was done in 1954 when a developer whose bulldozer had brought up bones gave archaeologists three months to dig before he built a motel. (He named the Indian Mount Motel, illustrating the link between destroying Native culture and selling it as kitsch.) That trend continues today, as the book cites important evidence from salvage digs in the mid-1990s and in 2001-2002. In Pauketat&rsquos telling, the story of Cahokia is largely the story of rescue archaeology.

Pauketat addresses the role of gender better than that of race. He includes the contributions of pioneering female archaeologists at Cahokia like Joyce Wike (who painstakingly uncovered a major find while nine months pregnant) and acknoweldges outright that male bias has distorted views of Cahokia. As Pauketat notes, lack of evidence for feminine myths and histories stems in part from

For Cahokia, the result has been an overemphasis on masculine mythic figures, particularly the story of He-who-wears-human-heads-for-earrings and the hero-twins. While Pauketat makes clear the centrality of these stories to Cahokian culture, he also attempts to correct the imbalance by devoting substantial space to goddesses, Corn Mother myths, and the women whose sacrificed bodies were found in Mound 72. He also includes a theory about migration out of Cahokia propounded by Carrie Wilson, a cultural historian of the Quapaw Nation, and the only Native expert cited in the book.

Generally I appreciated the way Pauketat cautions against directly extrapolating from contemporary Native cultures to Cahokia (as if the former were not living and changing), while nevertheless making reasonable connections between the two. Some of the most intriguing material in the book comes from Pauketat&rsquos attempts to piece together the remains of Cahokia&rsquos great tombs with oral traditions and rock carvings found throughout the American Midwest.

Pauketat usually begins with the story of a particular archaeological dig and what it found before moving onto interpretations of the findings. While this approach has its strengths, I found myself hungry for more information about the ancient Cahokians themselves, and felt white archaeologists were dominating the story.

On the other hand, I appreciated the honesty of Pauketat&rsquos approach. His interest in the archaeologists (including their political views) makes their biases clear, and implicitly refutes the idea of an impartial archaeology. I found this a refreshing corrective to books which present theories about premodern peoples as facts, without acknowledging the gaps between evidence and conjecture. (As should be clear, I took Pauketat&rsquos interpretations with a grain of salt.)

Archaeology can be an intensely subjective discipline, and Pauketat is up-front about different trends in the field that have skewed intepretation of the site. He is particularly critical of a school of thought, dating to the 1970s and 1980s but (he says) still prevalent in American archaeology, which privileges environmental forces above human agency.
This &ldquoevolutionary approach,&rdquo apparently related to a movement to cast archaeology in more scientific terms, focused on whole-group adaptation to environmental forces, and downplayed social inequity or other internal differences within populations. (Though Pauketat never says so, this approach, which strips individuals of agency, seems particularly problematic when applied to Native cultures.)

Pauketat is clearly on the side of a more humanistic approach that favors individuals, ideologies, and the accidents of history. As a result, he downplays the role of geography and the environment&mdashand while I share this general bias (I was trained as a historian), I thought he too far ignored the role of the land and people&rsquos relationship to it.

Early on I was bewildered by how little time Pauketat spends situating Cahokia in the landscape, how many questions he leaves unanswered or even unconsidered (for instance, why isn&rsquot the city right on the Mississippi River?). There&rsquos a way to address the question, &ldquoBut why did they build there?&rdquo without disempowering the people who did the building.

Here are some of the main things I learned from this book:

1. Cahokia was huge. The Great Plaza at the center of the city was a staggering fifty acres in area (on a personal note, that&rsquos almost as large than the entire farm I grew up on). At its edge, the city&rsquos largest pyramid (called Monks Mound after a group of French monastics who later settled on it) rose 130 feet above it surface, making it as tall as a 14-story building. As a pyramid, however, it was far broader than tall its base covered 15 acres. That&rsquos 25 million cubic meters. With monuments like this, it&rsquos astonishing that archaeologists for so long underestimated the size of the labor force needed to build them. (The pyramids needed more or less constant repairs.)

The city itself seems surprisingly sprawling in a in a way that seems distinctly American. It held a population of between 10,000 and 17,000, with many additional thousands in the sprawling suburbs. That may not sound like a lot of people, but it&rsquos quite large for a pre-modern city outside China. Pauketat calls it the size, population-wise, of the average Mesopotamian city-state I think a better comparison would be with contemporary centers, like Kumbi Saleh, the capital of the Ghana Empire in West Africa.

2. Cahokia was influential. Cahokian-style goods have been found over a huge extent of land. Modern-day peoples believed to be connected with Cahokia&mdashas direct descendants, enemies, or subject peoples&mdashinclude the Pawnee, Osage, Kansa, Ponca, Omaha, Quapaw, Iowa, Oto, Missouri, Ho-Chunk, Mandan, Hidatsa, and Crow peoples&mdasha huge and diverse swath of America. Most ancient Midwestern, Southern, and Plains peoples had connections to Cahokia.

How do we know that Cahokia&rsquos influence ranged this far? Well&hellip

3. Cahokians played a sacred sport called chunkey. Chunkey, probably a development of an older game called hoop-and-pole, was intimately connected to the rise of Cahokia, and archaeologists have been able to track the distribution of distinctive Cahokia-style chunkey-stones, which were used/played from southern Minnesota to South Carolina.

After the ritual prepartion of the playing field&mdashthe massive Great Plaza of Cahokia was in fact a chunk yard&mdasha chunkey disc (about the size and shape of a hockey puck) was rolled out on its edge. Players threw long marked poles, trying to touch the stone, and were awarded points through a complex system depending on where and how the pole touched the stone.

Chunkey clearly had important ritual significance, and may be connected to both astronomical and (through masculine/feminine symbols) fertility rituals. It was also wildly popular across the huge range described above, and its spread seems connected to the spread of Cahokia&rsquos political influence.

By the mid-nineteenth century, in response to the social changes caused by European colonization, once-popular chunkey had been largely replaced across Native America by lacrosse, a much more violent team sport invented by the Huron and Iroquois. In a rare moment of humor, the book quotes an elderly Choctaw man who in 1876 couldn&rsquot understand why his elders had preferred such a boring game.

4. Cahokia was a product of urban planning. Perhaps the most astonishing thing about this city was that it did not grow up gradually, increasing its population over centuries. Around 1050 CE it was a small town on a ridgetop with a population of about a thousand, known to archaeologists as Old Cahokia. Then suddenly the entire settlement was cleared away, and the massive city we know was built along strict urban planning lines. Mengapa?

Well, in the summer of 1054 CE, a star in the Milky Way galaxy (a relatively close neighbor in astronomical terms) went supernova. Four times as bright as Venus, this new light, adjacent to the crescent moon, was visible both day and night for the next twenty-three days, and remained prominent in the night sky for the next two years. (Its remnants, known as the Crab Nebula, are visible today near the constellation Plains Indians call the Hand and Europeans Taurus.)

The supernova was clearly big news in North America, where cultures ranging across the continent commemorated it with artwork and large-scale building projects&mdashand in China, the only place outside North America where it was recorded. Pauketat believes a group of individuals&mdashperhaps a single family, or a larger elite&mdashused the supernova to gain control of and completely transform their civilization, motivating the building of the massive city and its many ritual monuments.

5. Cahokians practiced sophisticated astronomy. The supernova theory seems all the more likely given Cahokians&rsquo fascination with the night sky. Among the many astonishing finds at Cahokia is something archaeologists call &ldquothe American Woodhenge&rdquo&mdasha massive astronomical calendar constructed from huge poles of wood. (The problem of using European structures as analogies for Native American one should be obvious the original Woodhenge, of course, is in England quite close to Stonehenge.)

6. Cahokian civilization included social inequality. Although it seems a no-brainer that a civilization that build massive pyramids and extended its influence over a huge and linguistically diverse area probably didn&rsquot work through hugs and kisses, the existence of social inequity in Cahokia is apparently news. Recent finds uncovered a suburb of women foreign to the area (immigrants or people forcibly relocated) who subsisted on a protein-deficient diet quite different from that of high-status Cahokian, much like that of medieval peasants in Europe. (To me, many details like this add up to a picture that looks less like a city-state and more like an empire, and I wonder where the reluctance to use this term springs from the partial nature of surviving evidence or something else.)

7. Cahokians practiced human sacrifice. The most difficult and sensitive subject the study of Cahokia raises, large-scale human sacrifice seems to have been a inarguable part of the civilization (and another argument for a large population). This is a tricky subject, because so much later imperialist propaganda used such customs to denigrate (and justify the obliteration of) Native cultures. But human sacrifice is a wide-ranging ancient practice. The Romans did it so did the Carthaginians, and the non-city-dwelling Celtic and Germanic peoples of Europe.

Cahokia has provided evidence of different types of ritual killings. In one case, all the childbearing women (some of them pregnant) and children of a particular family were killed because Cahokians apparently had a matrilineal culture, in which power passed from man to man through female relatives, this was probably a political massacre, one elite family eliminating its competition.

Other cases are different. While men and children were also sacrificed, many of the sacrifices in Cahokia appear to be of young, foreign, attractive women&mdashperhaps captives from enemies or subject peoples&mdashkilled to accompany high-status Cahokians. The most famous find, Mound 72, included the sacrificed bodies of fifty-two women ages fifteen to twenty-five, and one older woman in her thirties. Some speculate that the younger women represent the fifty-two weeks in a calendar similar to that used by the Mayans in Mesoamerica.

8. The relationship between Cahokia and Mesoamerican civilizations is hotly debated. Massive pyramids and plazas, ritual sports, and large-scale human sacrifice will sound familiar to anyone who knows something about the pre-Columbian cultures of Mesoamerica. Archaeologists do not agree whether these similarities result from parallel developments of a common culture stretching back into deep prehistory, or more recent contacts. Pauketat appears to lean toward the latter, but appears reluctant to wade into the debate in the brief space Penguin has allotted him. (Personally, given the wide-ranging travels of other premodern peoples, I find it hard to believe that these cultures weren&rsquot in contact, at least indirectly.)

In summary, despite biases and shortcomings, this book felt like a good introduction to the topic and whetted my appetite to learn more about Cahokia, but I would really like to read something grounded in Native voices and perspectives on the past. Does anyone have any recommendations?


Don't be rude to your doctor. It might kill you.

Dealing with rudeness can nudge you toward cognitive errors.

  • Anchoring is a common bias that makes people fixate on one piece of data.
  • A study showed that those who experienced rudeness were more likely to anchor themselves to bad data.
  • In some simulations with medical students, this effect led to higher mortality rates.

Cognitive biases are funny little things. Everyone has them, nobody likes to admit it, and they can range from minor to severe depending on the situation. Biases can be influenced by factors as subtle as our mood or various personality sifat-sifat.

baru belajar soon to be published in the Journal of Applied Psychology suggests that experiencing rudeness can be added to the list. More disturbingly, the study's findings suggest that it is a strong enough effect to impact how medical professionals diagnose patients.


The North American Middle Ages: Big History from the Mississippi Valley to Mexico

The sixth through the sixteenth centuries CE saw dramatic pan-North American social and cultural changes that need to be considered in broad global terms. There are important historical parallels and there were likely intermittent connections between Amerika Utara bagian timur, the Trans-Mississippi South, and the Southwest and Mesoamerica. But most archaeologists have dismissed these parallels, assuming that the documented absence of regular trade relations between north and south means that there were no significant cultural exchanges either.

Compounding the problem, archaeologists often necessarily focus on specific regions and, in so doing, avoid big-historical constructs. In the process, they fail to appreciate the historical significance of one-off or irregular contacts and cultural exchanges between peoples and places north and south of the Rio Grande, leaving the general public scratching their heads over the apparent parallels: certain images, artifacts, and sites in the Mississippi valley really do look like things and places in Mesoamerica. Mengapa?

To answer that question is important for both professional and popular audiences. We all need a new means of thinking about the big history of the continent that explains the seeming parallels. The North American Middle Ages (NAMA) project is that means. Such renewed global thinking begins with an outline of what was happening where and when. Focusing largely on the rise and demise of the American Indian city of Cahokia, NAMA seeks to articulate ongoing research on the origins of Cahokia—the American Indian city on the Mississippi—with the cultural histories of the Caddo peoples (in the Trans-Mississippi South of Arkansas-Oklahoma-Texas regions) and the diverse ethnic and language groups of greater Southwest and Mexico. The NAMA articulation will consist of graphic displays, site details, a timeline, textual summaries and a walk-through visualization of at least one portion of a Mississippian pilgrimage site in order to enable users to evaluate the possible historical connections for themselves.

Konteks Sejarah

In the Mississippi valley and eastern Great Plains, though historical connections inferred to exist between the Mississippi valley, Trans-Mississippi South, Southwest, and Mexico later in the Medieval Warm period began with a veritable North American Dark Ages. The spread of the bow and arrow in the 200s-800s CE, may have related to the social changes that brought the peoples of the Woodlands and eastern Great Plains out of this parochial period. By the 700s-800s, some peoples in Arkansas north to Illinois intensified the production of plant foods. Such developments may have also been related to the increasingly territorialized landscape of the Mississippi valley.

The culturally isolated Coles Creek mound-and-plaza centers of the lower valley were among the last to open up, as well as the last to adopt maize, a Mesoamerican crop likely transplanted in the east from the Southwest. In the eleventh century, and based on corn agriculture, the American Indian city of Cahokia coalesced rather abruptly in the central Mississippi valley. At the same time there was a concomitant transformation of Caddoan peoples in the trans-Mississippi South, with sites showing Caddo-Cahokian relationships including Gahagan, Spiro and possibly Crenshaw. The two were probably related, and there are hints of Mesoamerican referents at Cahokia along with indications that Cahokians and Cahokian influences were widely felt north and south.

Ongoing research by the Illinois State Archaeological Survey and by T. Pauketat and S. Alt’s Emerald Acropolis project suggests that Cahokia emerged as a result of religious pilgrimages, long distance travel, and migrations. Excavations at the Emerald Acropolis, the subject of 3D augmented reality efforts by Pauketat and Alt, reveal the importance of “hierophantic” experience in the lunar shrine buildings, temples, and medicine lodges at this site beginning around 1000 CE. People gathered there periodically, timed with key moonrise events that occurred during an 18.6-year long lunar cycle.

For NAMA, archaeological research results will be linked with visualizations so that we may properly evaluate the effects of space, the built environment, and human/astronomical movements on perception. The long-term utility of this project component cannot be exaggerated, especially at a site where the pole-and-thatch architecture has long since disappeared. The dimensionality gained by such a model will affect popular impressions and archaeologists’ final explanations of the historical parallels that now seem apparent between Cahokia, the Caddoan world and, ultimately, the Southwest, northern Mexico, and Mesoamerica far to the south.

That is, there are historical parallels if not also evidence of historical linkages between North American regions. Indirect evidence of this may exist in the form of the post-Cahokian Caddoan imagery from the northern Caddoan site of Spiro compared to the Southwest site of Paquimé in Mexico and from the Great Plains into the sixteenth century. There, and after the 1200s, artwork and symbolism increasingly drew on southern Mesoamerican referents, with the appearance of twin anthropomorphized serpent-men, Venus iconography, and the arrow sacrifice. Neither from this period or earlier is there evidence of sustained trade relations between any of the regional actors.

So what was the basis of the historical connections? Why did an awareness of distant peoples, and the associated imagery or religious practices of those peoples, seem to have a cultural impact on other people? The only way to appreciate this may be to attempt to virtually recapture the power of experience at places such as Emerald, Cahokia, Spiro, and other Mesoamerican, Caddoan, and Coles Creek sites.


Cahokia Mounds

The most striking feature of Cahokia is the earthen mounds. Experts believe thousands of workers moved an estimated 55 million cubic feet of earth over a span of several decades. The workers didn’t have complex technology or building techniques, so these weren’t exactly the pyramids of Egypt.

Laborers carried earth up each mound by hand in woven baskets, making multiple trips each day.

The largest is called Monks Mound and is assumed to have been the center of the Grand Plaza of Cahokia – the plaza itself occupying 40 acres. Monks Mound is 92 feet (28 m) high, 951 ft (290 m) long, 836 ft (255 m) wide, and covers 14 acres.

The top of Monks Mound had a large, flat reinforced area which historians believe was home to a massive 5,000 square-foot temple about 50 feet tall. This temple was thought to have been the residence of the paramount chief and was said to be visible from anywhere in Cahokia.

Of the 120 earthen mounds the Cahokians constructed, only 80 remain today. Unfortunately farming and industrialization of the area has taken its toll: an estimated 40 mounds have been leveled or razed over the last 200 years for various reasons.

Of the 40 since-razed mounds, 29 have been located by archaeologists.


They fit right into American history

Modern life is not far away: Cahokia is framed by a middle-American sprawl of interstate highways and suburbia. But it wasn't modern development that ended Cahokia's thrilling story.

Eventually, Cahokians simply chose to leave their city behind, seemingly impelled by a mix of environmental and human factors such a changing climate that crippled agriculture, roiling violence or disastrous flooding. By 1400, the plazas and mounds lay quiet.

When Europeans first encountered the remarkable mounds at Cahokia, they saw a lost civilisation, explains Newitz in Four Lost Cities. They wondered if some faraway people had built Cahokia, then disappeared, taking with them the brilliant culture and sophistication that had once thrived in the soil of the Mississippi bottomland, where the earth is enriched by riverine floods.

In 1050 AD, the Native American cosmopolis of Cahokia was bigger than Paris (Credit: MattGush/Getty Images)

But the people of Cahokia, of course, didn't disappear. They simply left, and with them Cahokia's influence wove outward to far-flung places, where some of their most beloved pastimes are cherished to this day.

The yaupon they loved to drink is making a mainstream comeback as a sustainable, local tea that can be harvested from the forest. Chunkey – Cahokia's favourited game – never went away either. In some Native communities it has attracted a new generation of young athletes and is on the roster with stick ball and blow guns at Cherokee community games.

But it's more than that. Cahokians loved to kick back over good barbecue and sporting events, a combination that, Newitz noted, is conspicuously familiar to nearly all modern-day Americans. "We party that way all across the United States," they said. "They fit right into American history.

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Tonton videonya: Marquette Girls volleyball - freshman vs Cahokia