Holding (11MS118)


The Holding site (11MS118) is part of the extensive series of occupations along the American Bottom region to the east of the Mississippi River and a few kilometers northeast of the center of the Cahokia site. The Holding site is well known for its Middle Woodland period occupation and is the type site for the Holding phase (Fortier et al. 1989). AMS radiocarbon dates on two botanical samples thought to be maize, yielded calibrated ages of approximately 2000 BP (Riley et al. 1994). New analysis of these two samples along with radiocarbon dates and stable carbon isotope measurements on three additional maize samples from the site now suggest that the occupation associated with maize remains is much more recent than previously thought--dating to approximately 900 to 1000 cal BP (Simon 2017). Mary Simon points out that this calls into question the importance of maize during the Middle Woodland period at Holding and she suggests that maize agriculture only became dominant at the site--and likely in the region--by about 1100 years ago.

ID Other ID Type Subtype Uncal BP (years) ± 1 σ (years) Median cal BP (years) Lower cal BP (years) Upper cal BP (years) δ13C Contaminated?
AA-8717 MacroSample unknown 2077 70 2053 2305 1881 -26.0 Yes
AA-8718 MacroSample unknown 2017 50 1973 2115 1875 -25.3 Yes
ISGS A2715 MacroSample kernel 940 15 849 920 796 -9.1 No
ISGS A2716 MacroSample kernel 950 15 849 925 796 -8.9 No
ISGS A2714 MacroSample cupule 1070 20 967 1050 931 -9.3 No

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References Cited

Fortier, Andrew C., Thomas O. Maher, Joyce A. Williams, Michael C. Meinkoth, Kathryn E. Parker and Lucretia S. Kelly
    1989    The Holding Site: A Hopewell Community in the American Bottom. American Bottom Archaeology FAI-270 Site Reports Vol. 19. University of Illinois Press, Urbana.

Riley, T. J., G. R. Walz, C. J. Bareis, A. C. Fortier and K. E. Parker
    1994    Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) Dates Confirm Early Zea Mays in the Mississippi River Valley. American Antiquity 59(3):490-498.

Simon, Mary L.
    2017    Reevaluating the evidence for Middle Woodland maize from the Holding site. American Antiquity 82(1):140-150.