Publications by authors named "Thomas E Emerson"

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Ritual Black Drink consumption at Cahokia.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2012 Aug 6;109(35):13944-9. Epub 2012 Aug 6.

Department of Anthropology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131, USA.

Chemical analyses of organic residues in fragments of pottery from the large site of Cahokia and surrounding smaller sites in Illinois reveal theobromine, caffeine, and ursolic acid, biomarkers for species of Ilex (holly) used to prepare the ritually important Black Drink. As recorded during the historic period, men consumed Black Drink in portions of the American Southeast for ritual purification. This first demonstrated discovery of biomarkers for Ilex occurs in beaker vessels dating between A.D. 1050 and 1250 from Cahokia, located far north of the known range of the holly species used to prepare Black Drink during historic times. The association of Ilex and beaker vessels indicates a sustained ritual consumption of a caffeine-laced drink made from the leaves of plants grown in the southern United States.
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August 2012