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BRITARCH  February 2000

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Subject:

Re: CAHOKIA

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Date:

Sun, 6 Feb 2000 00:57:49 EST

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A quick search of Amazon.com turned up 15 books, the best of which are listed 
at the bottom of this email. These are all still in print and were all 
published in the 1990s so I suspect there is much more in libraries.  I think 
it is pretty well known among people who care about archaeology in the US.  
Maybe the question should be why isn't it better known in Britain? ;-)  
(Maybe someone could give Time Team a nudge in picking their next foreign 
site?) If memory serves me right, in the richest chieftain grave found ....he 
was laid out on a carpet of pure white sea shells from Mexico (or the Gulf of 
Mexico?) and took over 20 young women to the grave with him (a bad day to 
work for the chief!). 

The settlements in Utah, New Mexico and Arizona are much later.  It seems 
significant to me that the Cahokians didn't seem to need to build huge 
fortifications or build in inaccessible sites like cliffs.  Cahokia was from 
about 900-1300 AD and was gone before the French explorers came up the 
Mississippi. I suppose Cahokia is not well known because there is nothing but 
the mounds left above ground. The archaeologists are thrilled at the huge 
trash pits they left but that doesn't bring in the tourists. Apparently there 
was also no gold, silver or gems....  As for what they ate, they grew 
corn/maze just like farmers still grow around here.  Maze grows best in this 
part of the Midwest.  If you drive north from this area you can see hundreds 
of miles of corn/maze fields.  Meat came from wild animals (probably mostly 
deer), birds (wild ducks and geese) and fish from the river. Again there are 
still a lot of deer in this part of Illinois and Missouri. A friend of mine 
and her husband shot 3 on her farm during deer hunting season this year.  I 
believe the current theory for their decline is the deforestation and 
depletion of resources.  It just faded away. Another similar area of 
occupation is found in the Ohio Valley where the great serpent mound is. Its 
one of those earth structures that is so large that you can only see the whole
 thing from a plane. There are more mound cities in, I think, Alabama and/or 
Mississippi (state). Cahokia was by far the largest settlement, perhaps even 
state.  I'm afraid the only native Americans that many think of are either in 
the cliff dwellings or the plains teepees but they were/are a very diverse 
group.

Michelle

The Cahokia Chiefdom: The Archaeology of a Mississippian Society (Smithsonian 
Series in Archaeological Inquiry) 
by George R. Milner, Robert McAdams (Editor), Bruce Smith (Editor)  
1998 Smithsonian Institute Press.  

  
Cahokia : City of the Sun : Prehistoric Urban Center in the American Bottom 
by Claudia G. Mink  
Paperback (May 1992) 
Cahokia Mounds Museum Society; ISBN: 1881563006 

  
Cahokia : The Great Native American Metropolis 
by Biloine Whiting Young, Melvin L. Fowler  
1999 University of Illinois Press. 

  
Cahokia and the Archaeology of Power 
by Thomas E. Emerson  
1997 University of Alabama Press. 
 
  
Cahokia's Countryside : Household Archaeology, Settlement Patterns, and 
Social Power 
by Mark W. Mehrer  
Northern Illinois Unversity Press. 1995

  
The Archaeology of Downtown Cahokia : The Tract 15A and Dunham Tract 
Excavations (Studies in Archaeology (Urbana, Ill.), No. 1.) 
by Timothy R. Pauketat, Preston T. Miracle, Sandra L. Dunavan  
1999. Illinois Transportation. 

  
The Ascent of Chiefs : Cahokia and Mississippian Politics in Native North 
America 
by Timothy R. Pauketat  
1994 University of Alabama Press. 

  
Cahokia : Domination and Ideology in the Mississippian World (American Indian 
Lives Series) 
by Timothy R. Pauketat (Editor), Thomas E. Emerson (Editor) 
1997 University of Nebraska Press. 

  
The Cahokia Atlas: A Historical Atlas of Cahokia Archaeology (Studies in 
Archaeology (Urbana, Ill.), #2.) 
by Melvin L. Fowler  
1997    Illinois Transportation.  (I suspect this is finds discovered on 
sites of new road or light rail development)


    


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