Abstract

New archaeological and geophysical evidence from the Greater Cahokia region affirms that so-called conical mounds of the Mississippian era were, in fact, flat-topped circular platforms. Historical accounts indicate that such mounds were numerous across the region and were topped by or associated with circular sweat lodges and rotundas and paired with rectangular structures and mounds built in rows or connected by earthen causeways. Our geophysical results include detecting the foundation of a rebuilt circular structure on the southeastern extension of Monks Mound in alignment with the Rattlesnake Causeway and an actual conical Woodland mound on the river bluffs to the south. Additional circular mounds and submound or mound-summit architecture are confirmed elsewhere at Cahokia and at the Pfeffer and Emerald sites.

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