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
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
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
by Timothy R. Pauketat
1994 University of Alabama Press.
Cahokia : Domination and Ideology in the Mississippian World (American Indian
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)