February 17, 2020
Archaeologists at Berkeley, Caliifornia State University, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Northeastern University have researched the idea that the ancient Mississippian center of Cahokia was depopulated by floods, droughts, and resource exhaustion by the 1400’s. They found that the Illinois Confederation of tribes continued to build communities around maize farming, bison hunting, controlled burning, living on small farms and gardens.
The research team studied fecal stanols of human waste in the sediment under Horseshoe Lake, Cahokia’s main catchment area. The levels of the stanols can gauge changes in population. The evidence points to migrations, warfare and ecological changes throughout the 1500s and 1600s in the area.
The research is published in the journal American Antiquity; Ancient poop helps show climate change contributed to fall of Cahokia the area
More information: A.J. White et al, After Cahokia: Indigenous Repopulation and Depopulation of the Horseshoe Lake Watershed AD 1400–1900, American Antiquity (2020). DOI: 10.1017/aaq.2019.103
Phys Org. has the report here
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