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Title:Ceramic Shell Cup Effigies from Illinois and their Implications
Author(s):Kozuch, Laura
Subject(s):Shell cup effigy
lightning whelk
Geographic Coverage:North America
Abstract:Ceramic effigies ofmarine shell cups have long been known from Mississippian sites in Illinois and elsewhere in the Southeast, and have been included in studies of other ceramic effigies, such as animal figures and head pots (Holmes 1886). This paper focuses on 31 known Illinois specimens. I will show that, in Illinois, the geographic range of these effigies is primarily restricted to the American Bottom around Cahokia, and their occurrence is largely limited to Late Mississippian Moorehead and Sand Prairie phases (A.D. 1200 to 1400). I also explore possible meanings of shell cups and, by extension, ceramic effigies of shell cups. Ethnohistoric as well as archaeological evidence show that lightning whelk cups and, by analogy, shell cup effigies functioned in contexts of uncertainty and conflict, consistent with their context in Illinois.
Issue Date:2013
Publisher:Southeastern Archaeology
Citation Info:Kozuch, Laura 2013 Ceramic Shell Cup Effigies from Illinois and their Implications. Southeastern Archaeology 32:29-45.
Date Available in IDEALS:2016-09-12

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