The Reign and Ruin of the Lords of Cahokia: A Dialectic of Dominance



The intellectual roots of and archaeological evidence for a “climax” of the late-prehistoric Cahokia polity are reconsidered. The increased sacralization of chiefly authority seems apparent at the same time that the political economy may have stagnated during the late 11th century A.D. This apparent quandary may be resolved if we recognize the dialectical relationship between chiefly political structure and a chiefly ideology. Centralization and decentralization are opposing tendencies of the same process.