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Cahokia and Great Zimbabwe.docx

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ANTH 210
Henricvan Gjsohard

Plan of Central Cahokia:  Ceremonial importance: all mounds and houses are rigidly planned out according to cardinal directions o Change in house construction: regarded as something by archeologists that is not supposed to change- when it does: it means something important is happening in the civilization- perhaps a change in orientation?  Central plaza  Nested patterns  Environmental conditions  Elites were religious leaders or had supernatural contact  “Big Bang Theory”: leader at Cahokia predicted some extreme event “Haley’s Comet” and the people did whatever the leader wanted afterwards- reorganization of Cahokia Planning:  Strictly planned, oriented, and distributed use of space  From larger scale to smaller scale- even at the house level  Distinctive ceramic vessel given as an elaborate gift to bring back home from ceremonial center- filled with food as well- allowed elites to coerce people into complying  Chunky game: o Exclusive ceremonial life o Entertainment o Exclusive realm of chunky game is Cahokia o Played for wagers that could be ritual in nature o Sacrifice for losing team  Mound 72: o Burial of an elite male ruler accompanied by death pits of sacrificed women o Only mound not oriented along cardinal directions o Conical in shape o Meant to be anomalous o Meant to be an obvious mistake in otherwise perfect planning o Beaded burial: shell beads in thousands o Massive human sacrifices associated with rich burials o Religious political leader o Grouped differently according to gender of sacrificed victims- intentional planning of sacrifices according to different event needs or spiritual requirements o Reoccurring sacrifices to a deceased ancestor who may have founded Cahokia o Women burials are oriented strictly with the mound- astronomical? Religious? o Men burials are ori
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