The Moon’s Tears Fell on Cahokia

Presented Tim R. Pauketat, Director of the Illinois State Archaeological Survey, Illinois State Archaeologist, and a professor of Anthropology and Medieval Studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

With the discovery of the first yellow-floored shrine house in 2000, archaeologists began to rethink the rise of one of North America’s most important ancient cultural phenomena—Greater Cahokia and its far-flung outposts or missions. This talk will take us from enigmatic Trempealeau, in Wisconsin, and the Emerald Acropolis, in Illinois, to the summit of the great earthen pyramid at Cahokia itself. In these places, new discoveries of aligned monuments, circular platform mounds, steam baths, causeways, and water features help to explain the rise and fall of a city and its possible ties to cultures far to the south.

Timothy R. Pauketat is the Director of the Illinois State Archaeological Survey, Illinois State Archaeologist, and a professor of Anthropology and Medieval Studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He previously held positions at the University of Oklahoma and the State University of New York, Buffalo. Professor Pauketat has published extensively on his research at Cahokia, other Mississippian sites, and the continent as a whole. He has written or edited 17 books, including The Archaeology of Ancient North America (Cambridge 2020), Chiefdoms and Other Archaeological Delusions (AltaMira 2007), and Cahokia: Ancient America’s Great City on the Mississippi (Penguin, 2009). His current interests include the relationship of global history and humanity to matter and effects, with a focus on the Medieval Warm Period.

Recorded: November 18, 2021 | The Archaeological Conservancy 2021

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