Saturday, August 15, 2009

Cahokia: Ancient America's Great City on the Mississippi

This new book by Timothy Pauketat describes the culture of the Mississippian people who built the ceremonial center which we now call the Cahocial Mounds. The author, a professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is an anthtopoligist who has published earlier books on the culture of Cahokia.

The Cahokia Mounds were declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1982. Huge constructions built by the inhabitants of an urban complex estimated to have had a population of 40,000 people a thousand years ago, the site amply justifies World Heritage status.

I ask my classes each year whether they know of the site, and fewer than ten percent of my Americans graduate students remember having heard of this, one of only 20 world heritage sites in the United States. Thus a new and popular book on the site and its interpretation is most welcome.

Read the review of the book in the Chicago Tribune.

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