1989 A Comparison of Tennessee Archaic and Mississippian Maximum Femoral Lengths and Midshaft Diameters: Subsistence Change and Postcranial Variability. Southeastern Archaeology 8.2:107-116
2006 Late Cahokian Subsistence and Health: Stable Isotope and Dental Evidence. Southeastern Archaeology 25.2:258-274
Prior to the introduction of maize in A.D. 900, nearly all food sources available in the area were C3 plants and animals who consumed those plants. After the introduction of maize, it became the primary C4 plant in the diet for this area. Now while animals who consumed maize or other C4 plants could have contributed to the C4 enrichment, it is highly unlikely, due to there being very few animal sources of C4 enrichment confirmed, those being dog and some freshwater fish.
Both groups consumed comparable amounts of maize and protein, but due to a larger apatite-collagen spacing of the Corbin Mound sample, it appears that the protein consumed by these individuals was significantly more negative than that consumed by the ESLSQ. The upland Corbin Mound individuals most likely consumed more C3 nut protein and terrestrial fauna than did the floodplain ESLSQ individuals. This information correlates with other archaeological evidence found at the sites. This also helps to support ethnobotanical evidence of regional dietary differences between the upland and the floodplain populations. It also shows that ESLSQ males consumed more maize and C4 consuming animals than did ESLSQ females. Because this isotopic difference between sexes is only found in the ESLSQ sample and not the Corbin Mound, this suggests that these two groups’ feasting rituals, subsistence practices, or status or sex-based dietary preferences or practices may have differed.
Even through just examining the isotope analysis, it is clear that Cahokia is definitely a multi-ethnic society that is comprised of many different groups. And through this realization, it becomes our job to resolve the questions and issues surrounding these groups’ social changes as well as their regional variations.