University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Department of Anthropology

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Timothy R Pauketat

Professor of Medieval Studies

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Research Interests

Materiality, affect and agency

Religion and ontologies

Cities and landscapes

Global medievalism

Climate change

North American archaeology

Woodland and Mississippian cultures

Indigenous Prairie-Plains history



I am an archaeologist interested in the broad relationships between history and humanity, materiality and agency, affect and ontology, and religion and urbanism. My focus in on North America, and my concerns range from local historical ones, particularly in the central Mississippi valley, to pan-American and big-historical ones, especially as they involve Mesoamerican-Southwestern-Mississippi valley connections. I have conducted most of my field research at and around the American Indian city of Cahokia or related complexes, having held posts at the University of Oklahoma, the State University of New York (Buffalo) and the University of Illinois.


  • Ph.D. 1991, Anthropology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (UM). M.A. 1986, Anthropology, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale (SIU-C). B.S. 1983, Anthropology and Earth Science, Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville (SIU-E).



  • Medieval Mississippians: The Cahokian World. Comp. Susan M. Alt. Ed. Timothy R. Pauketat. Santa Fe, NM: School for Advanced Research Press, 2015.
  • An Archaeology of the Cosmos: Rethinking Agency and Religion in Ancient America. London: Routledge, 2013.
  • Big Histories, Human Lives: Tackling Problems of Scale in Archaeology. Comp. Timothy R. Pauketat. Ed. John Robb. Santa Fe, NM: School for Advanced Research Press, 2013.
  • The Oxford Handbook of North American Archaeology. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012.
  • Pauketat, Timothy R. Cahokia: Ancient America‚Äôs Great City on the Mississippi. New York: Viking-Penguin, 2009.
  • Pauketat, Timothy R. Chiefdoms and Other Archaeological Delusions. Lanham, Maryland: AltaMira Press, 2007.
  • North American Archaeology. Ed. Timothy R. Pauketat and Diana D. Loren. Oxford: Blackwell, 2005.
  • Ancient Cahokia and the Mississippians. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004.
  • The Archaeology of Traditions: Agency and History Before and After Columbus. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2001.
  • Cahokia: Domination and Ideology in the Mississippian World. Comp. Thomas E. Emerson. Ed. Timothy R. Pauketat. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1997.
  • The Ascent of Chiefs: Cahokia and Mississippian Politics in Native North America. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1994.
  • Lords of the Southeast: Social Inequality and the Native Elites of Southeastern North America. Comp. Timothy R. Pauketat. Ed. Alex W. Barker. Washington, DC: American Anthropological Association, 1992.