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Feb. 26 talk to discuss history of moundbuilding

MONMOUTH, Ill. – For more than 5,000 years, Native people have marked the landscape of what is now the United States with earthen monuments.

The next archaeology lecture at Monmouth College will explore the long history of moundbuilding, focusing on two Coles Creek mound sites in southwestern Mississippi.

Titled “Staging Ritual in the Lower Mississippi Valley: Explorations into Early Platform Mounds,” the lecture will be presented by University of Pennsylvania professor Meg Kassabaum at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 26 in the Pattee Auditorium on the lower level of the College’s Center for Science and Business.

A member of Penn’s anthropology faculty, Kassabaum is also the Weingarten Assistant Curator for North America at the Penn Museum in Philadelphia.

“The Lower Valley is among the richest archaeological regions on the continent and contains both the oldest and some of the most elaborate monumental architecture in North America,” said Kassabaum.

The Coles Creek culture, which flourished from 700 to 1000 A.D., existed during a particularly dynamic period in Lower Valley history. Kassabaum’s work has augmented the understanding of the moundbuilders who created “these amazing places.”

Free and open to the public, the archaeology lecture series is sponsored by the Archaeological Institute of America Western Illinois Society and the College’s Department of Classics.