Barry McNamara  |   Published September 10, 2021

‘Feeding Cahokia’

Biology professor Godde, Jones ’22 to discuss topic on Sept. 16 at Warren County History Museum.

MONMOUTH, Ill. – A Monmouth College professor and student will be the featured speakers at an event that will look back several centuries in the history of Illinois.

'FEEDING CAHOKIA': Illinois civilization from nearly 1,000 years ago is topic of upcoming... 'FEEDING CAHOKIA': Illinois civilization from nearly 1,000 years ago is topic of upcoming talk by Monmouth biology professor, student.Biology professor James Godde and Lucas Jones ’22 of Evergreen, Colorado, will present a program titled “Feeding Cahokia” at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 16 at the Warren County History Museum, 238. S. Sunny Lane.

The museum is co-sponsoring the event, along with the Western Illinois Society of the Archaeological Institute of America. It is free and open to the public, and will also be livestreamed on Zoom.

Last fall, Godde taught the biology department’s annual half-semester course, “Topics in the History of Biology.” The specific focus was “Feeding Cahokia: Agricultural Technology of Native Americans during the Mississippian Period.” The class focused on a book written by Gayle J. Fritz, emeritus professor of anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis.

Located across the Mississippi River from St. Louis in Collinsville, Illinois, the Cahokia Mounds are considered to be the largest and most complex archaeological site north of the great pre-Columbian cities in Mexico. The city there thrived from about 1050 to 1350 CE.

Lectures for the College’s class typically took place outdoors at the Monmouth City Cemetery, with trips to LeSuer Nature Preserve and the Monmouth College Educational Farm and Garden. The class also met indoors in the College’s Nutrition Lab, where the students cooked some of the dishes the Cahokian people may have eaten. The class culminated with a trip to Cahokia so the students could see the location they’d studied for the preceding seven weeks.

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