The environmental impact of a pre-Columbian city based on geochemical insights from lake sediment cores recovered near Cahokia

  title={The environmental impact of a pre-Columbian city based on geochemical insights from lake sediment cores recovered near Cahokia},
  author={David P. Pompeani and Aubrey L. Hillman and Matthew S. Finkenbinder and Daniel J. Bain and Alexander Correa-Metrio and Katherine M Pompeani and Mark B. Abbott},
  journal={Quaternary Research},
  pages={714 - 728}
Abstract Cahokia is the largest documented urban settlement in the pre-Columbian United States. Archaeological evidence suggests that the city, located near what is now East St. Louis, Illinois, began to rapidly expand starting around AD 1050. At its height, Cahokia extended across 1000 ha and included large plazas, timber palisade walls, and hundreds of monumental earthen mounds. Following several centuries of occupation, the city experienced a period of gradual abandonment from about AD 1200… Expand
11 Citations
Pre-Columbian lead pollution from Native American galena processing and land use in the midcontinental United States
The presence and sources of pre-Columbian (before 1492 CE) lead (Pb) pollution in the midcontinental United States were investigated using geochemical and Pb isotope analyses on sediment coresExpand
Severe Little Ice Age drought in the midcontinental United States during the Mississippian abandonment of Cahokia
A 1600-year-long decadally resolved oxygen isotope (δ18O) record from Horseshoe Lake, an evaporatively influenced oxbow lake that is centrally located within the largest and mostly densely populated series of Mississippian settlements known as Greater Cahokia, indicates that strongly evaporative conditions were persistent during the leadup to Cahokia’s abandonment. Expand
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Abstract Palynological studies and archaeological discoveries suggest repeated extensive prehistoric copper mining in the Eisenerz Alps (Styria, Austria). In an attempt to reconstruct the specificExpand
After Cahokia: Indigenous Repopulation and Depopulation of the Horseshoe Lake Watershed AD 1400–1900
The occupation history of the Cahokia archaeological complex (ca. AD 1050–1400) has received significant academic attention for decades, but the subsequent repopulation of the region by indigenousExpand
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Questioning the Native American Population Rebound in the Horseshoe Lake Watershed from AD 1500 to AD 1700
White and colleagues (2020) have argued that after Cahokia's AD 1400 decline, the native population in the Horseshoe Lake Watershed rebounded beginning in AD 1500 and peaked around 1650, and that theExpand
High variability between regional histories of long-term atmospheric Pb pollution
A compilation of global records of anthropogenic atmospheric lead (Pb) spanning the last 4000 years is presented, an effective indirect proxy for reliably assessing Pb emissions directly linked to human activities. Expand
When the Rains Stopped: Evapotranspiration and Ontology at Ancient Cahokia
  • T. Pauketat
  • Geography
  • Journal of Anthropological Research
  • 2020
Climate change and human history converged in the ancient Mississippi Valley at the Native American city of Greater Cahokia. Following the materials and substantial flows through four centuries ofExpand
Cahokia: Urbanization, Metabolism, and Collapse
Cahokia in the 12th century A.D. was the largest metropolitan area and the most complex political system in North America north of Mexico. Its metabolism depended on an area of high natural andExpand


A record of sustained prehistoric and historic land use from the Cahokia region, Illinois, USA
In eastern North America, large prehistoric settlements were concentrated in and along the floodplains of the midcontinent, but few sedimentary records have been examined adjacent to these sites toExpand
A 7000-year record of environmental change, including early farming impact, based on lake-sediment geochemistry and pollen data from County Sligo, western Ireland
Abstract Detailed, chronologically tightly constrained, lake-sediment-based geochemical and pollen records have enabled local changes in soil erosion, woodland cover and composition, and prehistoricExpand
A 4000-Year Lacustrine Record of Environmental Change in the Southern Maya Lowlands, Petén, Guatemala
Abstract A 4000-yr sediment core record from Lake Salpetén, Guatemala, provides evidence for Maya-induced forest clearance and consequent soil erosion between ∼1700 cal yr B.C. and 850 cal yr A.D.Expand
Reprint of: Impacts of Mayan land use on Laguna Tuspán watershed (Petén, Guatemala) as seen through clay and ostracode analysis
Abstract Most of the cities built by the Mayas in the Peten area, in the Central Yucatan Peninsula, were abandoned 1200 to 1000 years ago. The phenomenon is sometimes un-appropriately called “theExpand
The Sedimentary Record of Environmental Contamination in Horseshoe Lake, Madison County, Illinois
Industrial development over the last 110 years has contaminated many parts of the American Bottoms, an extensive floodplain of the Mississippi River just east of St. Louis, MO. Water resources inExpand
Ancient Maya impacts on the Earth's surface: An Early Anthropocene analog?
Abstract The measure of the “Mayacene,” a microcosm of the Early Anthropocene that occurred from c . 3000 to 1000 BP, comes from multiple Late Quaternary paleoenvironmental records. We synthesizedExpand
Lake sediments record prehistoric lead pollution related to early copper production in North America.
It is demonstrated that lead emissions associated with both the historic and Old Copper Complex tradition are detectable and can be used to determine the temporal and geographic pattern of metal pollution. Expand
A millennium of metallurgy recorded by lake sediments from Morococha, Peruvian Andes.
This work reconstructs a millennium of smelting activity in the Peruvian Andes using the lake-sediment stratigraphy of atmospherically derived metals and lead isotopic ratios and corroborate the sensitivity of lake sediments to pre-Colonial metallurgical activity suggested by earlier findings from Bolivia. Expand
Copper mining on Isle Royale 6500–5400 years ago identified using sediment geochemistry from McCargoe Cove, Lake Superior
Isle Royale, in Lake Superior, contains evidence of indigenous copper mining; however, the timing and geographical extent of mining activity is poorly known. We analyzed metal, carbon, nitrogen, andExpand
Lacustrine turbidites as indicators of Holocene storminess and climate: Lake Tahoe, California and Nevada
Sediment cores from Lake Tahoe permit the discrimination of turbidites initiated by seismic-induced debris flows from those generated by severe storms and associated hyperpycnal currents over theExpand