The Illinois State Archaeological Survey, a division of the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, proudly announces the release of our latest publication, East St. Louis Precinct Mississippian Ceramics edited by Tamira K. Brennan, Michael Brent Lansdell, and Alleen Betzenhauser with contributions by Alleen Betzenhauser, Tamira K. Brennan, Sarah E. Harken, Michael Brent Lansdell, and Victoria E. Potter.
This volume is a companion to East St. Louis Precinct Terminal Late Woodland Ceramics (Research Report Vol. 42) which reports all ceramics recovered from Terminal Late Woodland features and features that could be assigned no more specific a component than the Terminal Late Woodland to Mississippian span. Together, these volumes provide a robust sample that better defines American Bottom ceramics for the time periods in question.
Chapter 2 outlines the methods used for these analyses. Chapters 3–5 cover the burned clay, body sherds, ceramic objects, and vessels recovered from Lohmann, Stirling, and Moorehead features. Each chapter touches on the depositional patterning and activities within the phase, as well as presents a brief comparison of the East St. Louis assemblage to others within the region. Chapter 6 concerns ceramic items from features that could be refined no further than to the early or general Mississippian (Lohmann–Moorehead) period, and Chapter 7 is a discussion and summary interpretation of the results. Ceramics recovered from nonfeature contexts are reported in Appendix C.
The results of the NMRB project represent the largest ceramic assemblage ever analyzed in the region, which consists of a conservative estimate of over 14,000 unique Mississippian vessels. This unusually large data set’s robust nature allows us to confidently provide ranges and means for various quantitative aspects of the subsamples within it and to explore these data for the potential of previously unknown chronologically sensitive or correlated traits. They also permit us to track changes in Mississippian potting practices through time at a single urban location, thereby informing on practices throughout the region through comparison. These changes reflect and may have encouraged shifts in the social and ideological fabric of the region and are, therefore, key to better understanding how Greater Cahokia formed and faded.
Our latest publication is available for purchase from our Amazon store at https://www.amazon.com/dp/1930487517.