- 2 years ago
Almost 900 hundred years ago, hundreds gathered at North America’s only city, Cahokia, to take part in a funeral. As the crowds gathered, two bodies were carefully prepared and laid to rest on top of a cloak, while dozens of ritual human sacrifices were arranged in surrounding pits. Finding the remains in 1960 revolutionized archaeologists’ understanding of Native American groups, but current research carried out by the Illinois State Archaeological Survey has transformed our understanding of this major urban center. Join us as we talk with Tom Emerson, Kristin Hedman, and Eve Hargrave about their recent research on these burials, and how it has dramatically altered our understanding of the roles of class and gender in early Native American groups. We’ll be discussing who was buried in the mounds, where they came from, the evidence for increasingly violent ritual burials, and what this tells us about the power and downfall of North America’s largest pre-European center.