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Ancient Cahokia

Barry McNamara
03/31/2011
Timothy Pauketat, professor of anthropology at the University of Illinois, will present an archaeology lecture at Monmouth College on April 6 at 7:30 p.m. in the Morgan Room in Poling Hall.

Titled “Ancient Cahokia, Astronomy, and American Indian Religion: Some Surprising New Discoveries,” the talk is free and open to the public. It is sponsored by the MC Classics Department, in cooperation with the Western Illinois Society of the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA).

“There is new evidence that Cahokians, those American Indians who built the continent’s only pre-Columbian city, also built a new religion and carried it to distant lands,” said Pauketat.

The new evidence consists of two lunar observatories near Cahokia and one sun temple complex far to the north in Wisconsin.

“Years of large-scale excavations on the Illinois side of the river indicate that religious pilgrimages to these shrines were possibly the primary reasons that explain why Cahokia became Cahokia,” Pauketat added. “Excavations last year in Wisconsin located the likely homes, foreign possessions and hilltop sun temple complex of Cahokia’s priests.”