Date of Award
Master of Science
David H Dye
Dorian J. Burnette
Ryan M Parish
Mississippian ceramic beakers (ca. A.D. 1050-1400), are often associated with Cahokia. However, few comprehensive analyses of the spatial and temporal variations of these beakers outside of the Cahokia region has taken place. Recent absorbed organic residue analyses associates beakers with a purifying liquid known as black drink. Since this association, new evidence has emerged casting doubt on the accuracy of the results. In this thesis, I suggest beakers were utilized at more locales in the Central Mississippi Valley than was previously thought and that symbolically charged beakers, with regional variants, were established by religious sodalities throughout tthe Cahokia region and Central Mississippi Valley to establish non-kinship relationships among polities. I further suggest the beaker and black drink connection be re-evaluated and that the utilization of beakers focused on the power of sustenance to the body and soul to travel the Path of Souls.
dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.
Martin, Melinda Alaine, "Paths of Power: Assessing the Role of Cahokia-Style Beakers" (2019). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 1995.