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Re: A Major Re-think of Cahokia

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  • Rick O
    Vince, I know you deserve the credit. I don t think you should hold your breath on that, though
    Message 1 of 9 , Sep 8, 2011
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      Vince, I know you deserve the credit. I don't think you should hold your breath on that, though

      --- In ancient_waterways_society@yahoogroups.com, Vincent Barrows <v_barrows@...> wrote:
      >
      > Good to see that rethinking Cahokia is beginning to happen amongst Archaeologists. They should reexamine the articulated archaic canine skeletons found on the top of the monks mound, as well as all other archaic materials.
      > I/ we sent this message about monks mound around five years ago and it is just now being heard. But it is not flattering that Tim Schilling is copying it now.
      > Thanks
      > Vince
      >
      > On Thu Sep 8th, 2011 12:29 PM EDT Rick O wrote:
      >
      > >Vince, They're starting to come around...
      > >
      > >"Monumentality at Cahokia"
      > >Friday, September 30, Noon
      > >Dr. Timothy Schilling, Post Doctoral Fellow at the Mathers Museum of World Cultures/Glenn Black Laboratory of Archaeology, Indiana University Bloomington
      > >Cahokia was the largest pre-Columbian settlement in ancient North America. Located near the confluence of the Mississippi, Missouri, and Illinois Rivers, west of modern day St. Louis, the site is best known for having over 100 earthen mounds. Of these, Monks Mound stands out above the rest. Monks Mound is the largest single ancient construction North of the Valley of Mexico. Traditionally, researchers speculate that the site grew around the mound through time in a slow developmental trajectory. Recent work suggests the mound was built much more quickly and in a more planned fashion. These results indicate that traditional interpretations of moundbuilding and how researchers understanding its meaning in ancient contexts should be re-evaluated. Moreover, the Monks Mound case begs a reassessment of monumental construction done by small-scale societies worldwide.
      > >
      > >
      >
    • Ross Hamilton
      That s not all they found in and around Monk s Mound that dates it back to the Archaic. They ll keep rethinking Cahokia and other sites every time the coast
      Message 2 of 9 , Sep 8, 2011
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        That's not all they found in and around Monk's Mound that dates it back to the Archaic. They'll keep rethinking Cahokia and other sites every time the coast seems clear of some bullying academic influence or seat. BTW, I think that labeling Cahokia as the largest pre-Columbian settlement is bogus--although it likely was the largest Late Woodland settlement.
        Ross

        On Thu, Sep 8, 2011 at 1:05 PM, Vincent Barrows <v_barrows@...> wrote:
         

        Good to see that rethinking Cahokia is beginning to happen amongst Archaeologists. They should reexamine the articulated archaic canine skeletons found on the top of the monks mound, as well as all other archaic materials.
        I/ we sent this message about monks mound around five years ago and it is just now being heard. But it is not flattering that Tim Schilling is copying it now.
        Thanks
        Vince



        On Thu Sep 8th, 2011 12:29 PM EDT Rick O wrote:

        >Vince, They're starting to come around...
        >
        >"Monumentality at Cahokia"
        >Friday, September 30, Noon
        >Dr. Timothy Schilling, Post Doctoral Fellow at the Mathers Museum of World Cultures/Glenn Black Laboratory of Archaeology, Indiana University Bloomington
        >Cahokia was the largest pre-Columbian settlement in ancient North America. Located near the confluence of the Mississippi, Missouri, and Illinois Rivers, west of modern day St. Louis, the site is best known for having over 100 earthen mounds. Of these, Monks Mound stands out above the rest. Monks Mound is the largest single ancient construction North of the Valley of Mexico. Traditionally, researchers speculate that the site grew around the mound through time in a slow developmental trajectory. Recent work suggests the mound was built much more quickly and in a more planned fashion. These results indicate that traditional interpretations of moundbuilding and how researchers understanding its meaning in ancient contexts should be re-evaluated. Moreover, the Monks Mound case begs a reassessment of monumental construction done by small-scale societies worldwide.
        >
        >


      • Chris Patenaude
        My chances, this summer, to even get online have been few, let alone keep track of the overswamping flow of my online groups. Busy busy season!  That said,
        Message 3 of 9 , Sep 14, 2011
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          My chances, this summer, to even get online have been few, let alone keep track of the overswamping flow of my online groups. Busy busy season!  That said, this 'finding things at Cahokia' reminds me of a question i wanted to pop out to the thinking heads at AWS. It is my own opinion that Cahokia, perforce of its placement and history, had trade route connections nearly coast to coast. Certainly it would have had access to the goods coming anywhere in the region of the Missouri and its tributaries.

          Awhile back, in archy-news bits, there was one archaeologist(?)/geologist(?) who claimed that Cahokia's trade contact was much more restricted than previously thought based on one finding he made. All this time, sez the guy, red pipestone being found at Cahokia has been assumed to be Catlinite from the Pipestone quarries in western MN.

          But 'his' most recent chemical lab analysis of the archy-pieces are mislabeled and they were from stone much closer to Cahokia itself. Therefore, the man concludes that Cahokia did not even trade as far as Minnesota. This i cannot believe to be the case, as my own findings in my own county shows bits and pieces of stone tools using materials thousand or more miles away. Certainly Cahokia would have more trade than a backwater trading post in NW MN.

          Has anyone else heard more of this claim/opinion of diminished Cahokian influence? Was the guy laughed out of the room, eventually?
          -chris p

          --- On Thu, 9/8/11, Ross Hamilton <d.ross.hamilton@...> wrote:

          From: Ross Hamilton <d.ross.hamilton@...>
          Subject: Re: [ancient_waterways_society] A Major Re-think of Cahokia
          To: ancient_waterways_society@yahoogroups.com, "Susan English" <beldingenglish@...>
          Date: Thursday, September 8, 2011, 3:40 PM



          That's not all they found in and around Monk's Mound that dates it back to the Archaic. They'll keep rethinking Cahokia and other sites every time the coast seems clear of some bullying academic influence or seat. BTW, I think that labeling Cahokia as the largest pre-Columbian settlement is bogus--although it likely was the largest Late Woodland settlement.
          Ross

          On Thu, Sep 8, 2011 at 1:05 PM, Vincent Barrows <v_barrows@...> wrote:
           

          Good to see that rethinking Cahokia is beginning to happen amongst Archaeologists. They should reexamine the articulated archaic canine skeletons found on the top of the monks mound, as well as all other archaic materials.
          I/ we sent this message about monks mound around five years ago and it is just now being heard. But it is not flattering that Tim Schilling is copying it now.
          Thanks
          Vince



          On Thu Sep 8th, 2011 12:29 PM EDT Rick O wrote:

          >Vince, They're starting to come around...
          >
          >"Monumentality at Cahokia"
          >Friday, September 30, Noon
          >Dr. Timothy Schilling, Post Doctoral Fellow at the Mathers Museum of World Cultures/Glenn Black Laboratory of Archaeology, Indiana University Bloomington
          >Cahokia was the largest pre-Columbian settlement in ancient North America. Located near the confluence of the Mississippi, Missouri, and Illinois Rivers, west of modern day St. Louis, the site is best known for having over 100 earthen mounds. Of these, Monks Mound stands out above the rest. Monks Mound is the largest single ancient construction North of the Valley of Mexico. Traditionally, researchers speculate that the site grew around the mound through time in a slow developmental trajectory. Recent work suggests the mound was built much more quickly and in a more planned fashion. These results indicate that traditional interpretations of moundbuilding and how researchers understanding its meaning in ancient contexts should be re-evaluated. Moreover, the Monks Mound case begs a reassessment of monumental construction done by small-scale societies worldwide.
          >
          >




        • Rick O
          Hi Chris To the best of my recollection, Mound 72 had materials from the Gulf Coast, Yellowstone, South Carolina, and (probably) Mammoth Cave all in one
          Message 4 of 9 , Sep 15, 2011
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            Hi Chris

            To the best of my recollection, Mound 72 had materials from the Gulf
            Coast, Yellowstone, South Carolina, and (probably) Mammoth Cave all in
            one burial. That guy got around....

            --- In ancient_waterways_society@yahoogroups.com, Chris Patenaude
            <yacrispyubetcha@...> wrote:
            >
            > My chances, this summer, to even get online have been few, let alone
            keep track of the overswamping flow of my online groups. Busy busy
            season! That said, this 'finding things at Cahokia' reminds me of a
            question i wanted to pop out to the thinking heads at AWS. It is my own
            opinion that Cahokia, perforce of its placement and history, had trade
            route connections nearly coast to coast. Certainly it would have had
            access to the goods coming anywhere in the region of the Missouri and
            its tributaries.
            >
            > Awhile back, in archy-news bits, there was one
            archaeologist(?)/geologist(?) who claimed that Cahokia's trade contact
            was much more restricted than previously thought based on one finding he
            made. All this time, sez the guy, red pipestone being found at Cahokia
            has been assumed to be Catlinite from the Pipestone quarries in western
            MN.
            >
            > But 'his' most recent chemical lab analysis of the archy-pieces are
            mislabeled and they were from stone much closer to Cahokia itself.
            Therefore, the man concludes that Cahokia did not even trade as far as
            Minnesota. This i cannot believe to be the case, as my own findings in
            my own county shows bits and pieces of stone tools using materials
            thousand or more miles away. Certainly Cahokia would have more trade
            than a backwater trading post in NW MN.
            >
            > Has anyone else heard more of this claim/opinion of diminished
            Cahokian influence? Was the guy laughed out of the room, eventually?
            > -chris p
            >
            > --- On Thu, 9/8/11, Ross Hamilton d.ross.hamilton@... wrote:
            >
            > From: Ross Hamilton d.ross.hamilton@...
            > Subject: Re: [ancient_waterways_society] A Major Re-think of Cahokia
            > To: ancient_waterways_society@yahoogroups.com, "Susan English"
            beldingenglish@...
            > Date: Thursday, September 8, 2011, 3:40 PM
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            > That's not all they found in and around Monk's Mound that dates it
            back to the Archaic. They'll keep rethinking Cahokia and other sites
            every time the coast seems clear of some bullying academic influence or
            seat. BTW, I think that labeling Cahokia as the largest pre-Columbian
            settlement is bogus--although it likely was the largest Late Woodland
            settlement.
            > Ross
            >
            > On Thu, Sep 8, 2011 at 1:05 PM, Vincent Barrows v_barrows@... wrote:
            >
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            > Good to see that rethinking Cahokia is beginning to happen
            amongst Archaeologists. They should reexamine the articulated archaic
            canine skeletons found on the top of the monks mound, as well as all
            other archaic materials.
            >
            >
            > I/ we sent this message about monks mound around five years ago and it
            is just now being heard. But it is not flattering that Tim Schilling is
            copying it now.
            >
            > Thanks
            >
            > Vince
            >
            >
            >
            > On Thu Sep 8th, 2011 12:29 PM EDT Rick O wrote:
            >
            >
            >
            > >Vince, They're starting to come around...
            >
            > >
            >
            > >"Monumentality at Cahokia"
            >
            > >Friday, September 30, Noon
            >
            > >Dr. Timothy Schilling, Post Doctoral Fellow at the Mathers Museum of
            World Cultures/Glenn Black Laboratory of Archaeology, Indiana University
            Bloomington
            >
            > >Cahokia was the largest pre-Columbian settlement in ancient North
            America. Located near the confluence of the Mississippi, Missouri, and
            Illinois Rivers, west of modern day St. Louis, the site is best known
            for having over 100 earthen mounds. Of these, Monks Mound stands out
            above the rest. Monks Mound is the largest single ancient construction
            North of the Valley of Mexico. Traditionally, researchers speculate that
            the site grew around the mound through time in a slow developmental
            trajectory. Recent work suggests the mound was built much more quickly
            and in a more planned fashion. These results indicate that traditional
            interpretations of moundbuilding and how researchers understanding its
            meaning in ancient contexts should be re-evaluated. Moreover, the Monks
            Mound case begs a reassessment of monumental construction done by
            small-scale societies worldwide.
            >
            >
            > >
            >
            > >
            >
          • charles bruns
            I believe Catlinite is an important aspect.  It was hand quarried in the southwest corner of Minnesota relatively near the Jeffers petroglyphs.  How did the
            Message 5 of 9 , Sep 15, 2011
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              I believe Catlinite is an important aspect.  It was hand quarried in the southwest corner of Minnesota relatively near the Jeffers petroglyphs.  How did the Sisters get to there present location?  What do you think?  chb  

              From: Rick O <ozman@...>
              To: ancient_waterways_society@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Thursday, September 15, 2011 9:28 AM
              Subject: [ancient_waterways_society] Re: A Major Re-think of Cahokia

               
              Hi Chris

              To the best of my recollection, Mound 72 had materials from the Gulf
              Coast, Yellowstone, South Carolina, and (probably) Mammoth Cave all in
              one burial. That guy got around....

              --- In ancient_waterways_society@yahoogroups.com, Chris Patenaude
              <yacrispyubetcha@...> wrote:
              >
              > My chances, this summer, to even get online have been few, let alone
              keep track of the overswamping flow of my online groups. Busy busy
              season! That said, this 'finding things at Cahokia' reminds me of a
              question i wanted to pop out to the thinking heads at AWS. It is my own
              opinion that Cahokia, perforce of its placement and history, had trade
              route connections nearly coast to coast. Certainly it would have had
              access to the goods coming anywhere in the region of the Missouri and
              its tributaries.
              >
              > Awhile back, in archy-news bits, there was one
              archaeologist(?)/geologist(?) who claimed that Cahokia's trade contact
              was much more restricted than previously thought based on one finding he
              made. All this time, sez the guy, red pipestone being found at Cahokia
              has been assumed to be Catlinite from the Pipestone quarries in western
              MN.
              >
              > But 'his' most recent chemical lab analysis of the archy-pieces are
              mislabeled and they were from stone much closer to Cahokia itself.
              Therefore, the man concludes that Cahokia did not even trade as far as
              Minnesota. This i cannot believe to be the case, as my own findings in
              my own county shows bits and pieces of stone tools using materials
              thousand or more miles away. Certainly Cahokia would have more trade
              than a backwater trading post in NW MN.
              >
              > Has anyone else heard more of this claim/opinion of
              diminished
              Cahokian influence? Was the guy laughed out of the room, eventually?
              > -chris p
              >
              > --- On Thu, 9/8/11, Ross Hamilton d.ross.hamilton@... wrote:
              >
              > From: Ross Hamilton d.ross.hamilton@...
              > Subject: Re: [ancient_waterways_society] A Major Re-think of Cahokia
              > To: ancient_waterways_society@yahoogroups.com, "Susan English"
              beldingenglish@...
              > Date: Thursday, September 8, 2011, 3:40 PM
              >
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              >
              >
              > That's not all they found in and around Monk's Mound that dates it
              back to the Archaic. They'll keep rethinking Cahokia and other sites
              every time the coast seems clear of some bullying academic influence or
              seat. BTW, I think that labeling Cahokia as the largest pre-Columbian
              settlement is bogus--although it likely was the largest Late Woodland
              settlement.
              > Ross
              >
              > On Thu, Sep 8, 2011 at 1:05 PM, Vincent Barrows v_barrows@... wrote:
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
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              >
              >
              >
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              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > Good to see that rethinking Cahokia is beginning to happen
              amongst Archaeologists. They should reexamine the articulated archaic
              canine skeletons found on the top of the monks mound, as well as all
              other archaic materials.
              >
              >
              > I/ we sent this message about monks mound around five years ago and it
              is just now being heard. But it is not flattering that Tim Schilling is
              copying it now.
              >
              >
              Thanks
              >
              > Vince
              >
              >
              >
              > On Thu Sep 8th, 2011 12:29 PM EDT Rick O wrote:
              >
              >
              >
              > >Vince, They're starting to come around...
              >
              > >
              >
              > >"Monumentality at Cahokia"
              >
              > >Friday, September 30, Noon
              >
              > >Dr. Timothy Schilling, Post Doctoral Fellow at the Mathers Museum of
              World Cultures/Glenn Black Laboratory of Archaeology, Indiana University
              Bloomington
              >
              > >Cahokia was the largest pre-Columbian settlement in ancient North
              America. Located near the confluence of the Mississippi, Missouri, and
              Illinois Rivers, west of modern day St. Louis, the site is best known
              for having over 100 earthen mounds. Of these, Monks Mound stands out
              above the rest. Monks Mound is the largest single ancient construction
              North of the Valley of Mexico. Traditionally, researchers speculate that
              the site grew around the mound through time in a slow developmental
              trajectory. Recent work suggests the mound was built much more quickly
              and in a more planned fashion. These results indicate that traditional
              interpretations of moundbuilding and how researchers understanding its
              meaning in ancient contexts should be re-evaluated. Moreover, the Monks
              Mound case begs a reassessment of monumental construction done by
              small-scale societies worldwide.
              >
              >
              > >
              >
              > >
              >



            • Ted Sojka
              Chris, There is was an earth lodge excavate in Iowa on the Upper Iowa River near the Minnesota border. The last dig was done by Fred Phinney, then of the Iowa
              Message 6 of 9 , Sep 15, 2011
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                Chris,

                There is was an earth lodge excavate in Iowa on the Upper Iowa River near the Minnesota border.  The last dig was done by Fred Phinney, then of the Iowa Archeologists Office.  Potsherds made from Cahokia clay were found on the site in pits, along with obsidian, shells from the Gulf, and copper beads made from float copper in Northern Michigan.  It was felt this was a temporary trading post among those that lived here in the country formerly occupied by the Oneota, which some believe were ancestors of the Ioway.   

                Trading was in evidence at this site from distant locations.  Whether this log stockade and house were constructed by Cahokians is still being decided by people in this field.   

                Ted
                On Sep 15, 2011, at 9:28 AM, Rick O wrote:

                 

                Hi Chris

                To the best of my recollection, Mound 72 had materials from the Gulf
                Coast, Yellowstone, South Carolina, and (probably) Mammoth Cave all in
                one burial. That guy got around....

                --- In ancient_waterways_society@yahoogroups.com, Chris Patenaude
                <yacrispyubetcha@...> wrote:
                >
                > My chances, this summer, to even get online have been few, let alone
                keep track of the overswamping flow of my online groups. Busy busy
                season! That said, this 'finding things at Cahokia' reminds me of a
                question i wanted to pop out to the thinking heads at AWS. It is my own
                opinion that Cahokia, perforce of its placement and history, had trade
                route connections nearly coast to coast. Certainly it would have had
                access to the goods coming anywhere in the region of the Missouri and
                its tributaries.
                >
                > Awhile back, in archy-news bits, there was one
                archaeologist(?)/geologist(?) who claimed that Cahokia's trade contact
                was much more restricted than previously thought based on one finding he
                made. All this time, sez the guy, red pipestone being found at Cahokia
                has been assumed to be Catlinite from the Pipestone quarries in western
                MN.
                >
                > But 'his' most recent chemical lab analysis of the archy-pieces are
                mislabeled and they were from stone much closer to Cahokia itself.
                Therefore, the man concludes that Cahokia did not even trade as far as
                Minnesota. This i cannot believe to be the case, as my own findings in
                my own county shows bits and pieces of stone tools using materials
                thousand or more miles away. Certainly Cahokia would have more trade
                than a backwater trading post in NW MN.
                >
                > Has anyone else heard more of this claim/opinion of diminished
                Cahokian influence? Was the guy laughed out of the room, eventually?
                > -chris p
                >
                > --- On Thu, 9/8/11, Ross Hamilton d.ross.hamilton@... wrote:
                >
                > From: Ross Hamilton d.ross.hamilton@...
                > Subject: Re: [ancient_waterways_society] A Major Re-think of Cahokia
                > To: ancient_waterways_society@yahoogroups.com, "Susan English"
                beldingenglish@...
                > Date: Thursday, September 8, 2011, 3:40 PM
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > That's not all they found in and around Monk's Mound that dates it
                back to the Archaic. They'll keep rethinking Cahokia and other sites
                every time the coast seems clear of some bullying academic influence or
                seat. BTW, I think that labeling Cahokia as the largest pre-Columbian
                settlement is bogus--although it likely was the largest Late Woodland
                settlement.
                > Ross
                >
                > On Thu, Sep 8, 2011 at 1:05 PM, Vincent Barrows v_barrows@... wrote:
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
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                >
                >
                >
                >
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                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > Good to see that rethinking Cahokia is beginning to happen
                amongst Archaeologists. They should reexamine the articulated archaic
                canine skeletons found on the top of the monks mound, as well as all
                other archaic materials.
                >
                >
                > I/ we sent this message about monks mound around five years ago and it
                is just now being heard. But it is not flattering that Tim Schilling is
                copying it now.
                >
                > Thanks
                >
                > Vince
                >
                >
                >
                > On Thu Sep 8th, 2011 12:29 PM EDT Rick O wrote:
                >
                >
                >
                > >Vince, They're starting to come around...
                >
                > >
                >
                > >"Monumentality at Cahokia"
                >
                > >Friday, September 30, Noon
                >
                > >Dr. Timothy Schilling, Post Doctoral Fellow at the Mathers Museum of
                World Cultures/Glenn Black Laboratory of Archaeology, Indiana University
                Bloomington
                >
                > >Cahokia was the largest pre-Columbian settlement in ancient North
                America. Located near the confluence of the Mississippi, Missouri, and
                Illinois Rivers, west of modern day St. Louis, the site is best known
                for having over 100 earthen mounds. Of these, Monks Mound stands out
                above the rest. Monks Mound is the largest single ancient construction
                North of the Valley of Mexico. Traditionally, researchers speculate that
                the site grew around the mound through time in a slow developmental
                trajectory. Recent work suggests the mound was built much more quickly
                and in a more planned fashion. These results indicate that traditional
                interpretations of moundbuilding and how researchers understanding its
                meaning in ancient contexts should be re-evaluated. Moreover, the Monks
                Mound case begs a reassessment of monumental construction done by
                small-scale societies worldwide.
                >
                >
                > >
                >
                > >
                >


              • bigalemc2
                Chris - I am with you. The patronizing attitude of arkies is unbelievable. Those backward retarded savages, what could they have done, anyway? They weren t
                Message 7 of 9 , Sep 16, 2011
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                  Chris -

                  I am with you.  The patronizing attitude of arkies is unbelievable.  Those backward retarded savages, what could they have done, anyway?  They weren't white and Anglo-Saxon like us'ns!

                  It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize - as the indigenous Americans would have - that the easiest and best way to travel in mid-America was by water.  And once they realized that, "Hey! we can put stuff in our boat instead of hauling it on our backs!" they were going to wear out the rivers instead of creating roads and long-distance paths.

                  Here is the thing:  If the OTHER crossroads area - the Middle East - had lots of rivers, they would have done it that way, too.  Instead, they had the caravan routes heading east.  It is known that some of the earliest civilizations over that way were island ones or coastal ones, and that they did a lot of trade to the west of the Levant.  Outside of ports and booty on sunken ships, that didn't leave a lot of evidence of worn paths.

                  So, here trade was via rivers.  In Eastern Europe that was the case, too - even when they were all living in the forests.  The Celtish mummies in western China may have made their way to their final resting place overland, but to get there from Europe about half or more the journey would have been by water.

                  I mention those areas believing that long before their civilizations developed cities, trade was a done deal.  Cities do not create wealth enough within themselves to grow into cities - there must be a wider trade network.  That has to have been true of Cahokia, too.  And just as in Europe or the Levant or China or Sumeria, ONE location had to be the most prosperous, enough to become the first true city in that wide region.

                  And in America, what other location could be any more suitable for attracting wealth than one near the confluence of the two mightiest rivers?  Yes, Cairo would be a candidate, but Cairo in "Little Egypt" doesn't have the geography, because it floods every year and agriculture had not been developed enough to take advantage of that.  Heck, I don't think even now they've got it right.  (Not like the real Egypt did.)

                  Any person who would take ONE artifact and conclude anything large out of it must be - don't tell Mark Twain - an archeologist!  That guy has shown he is someone worth ignoring.  Don't look now, but his ivory tower is showing.  One wonders if he is simply a chauvinist or if he ever got outside the quad.

                  If I had been about to arrive on Earth, from elsewhere in the galaxy, in the early Holocene and allowed to pick where I wanted to start a civilization, my list would include:
                  1. The Nile delta
                  2. The land between the rivers
                  3. The Yellow River in China
                  4. The Rhine delta
                  5. The Rhone delta
                  6. The confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi
                  7. The Mississippi delta
                  I would NOT choose the Palestine area.  All it had was a coast, and little else to offer.  ANYONE could have a coast.  But bare coastline means nothing, not without a river as a source of fresh water and a cost-effective (and energy-effective) means of getting inland.  Palestine has no such river.  Hence, the Hebrews who lived there and the Palestinians before and after them had nothing going for them.  Further north, though, the Phoenicians were not so far from the source of the Tigris River, and travel could proceed upriver as far as possible, shortening the shipping effort for goods coming from or going to the east.  No such option exited for Palestine.

                  I was taught that all major civilizations had to be located on water.  I later learned that Indianapolis was the largest US city NOT on a major body of water.  The lesson was: Water makes prosperity possible, in terms of agriculture, sure, but especially in terms of trade.  NO MEANS OF TRANSPORT HAS EVER BEEN MORE IMPORTANT THAN SHIPPING.  Shipping made all the great concentrations of wealth and civilization, at all points in history.  I think of the Dutch and their tiny country, who became the most powerful nation for a time, all based on their shipping culture.  England?  Certainly.  The Phoenicians, without a doubt.  Rome was nothing without its merchant fleet, nor were the Greeks or the Minoans.  Venice was totally a crossroads, between not only Europe and the Middle East, but also between Europe and CHINA (read "1434" by Gavin Menzies).  And speaking of China, when it traded, it was a great nation, and when it did not, it was not.  The amount of goods being traded in the SE Asia and Indian Ocean areas far, far exceeded anything traveling along the caravan routes.

                  Next to water, the most important factor was being on a crossroads.  It is certainly why Russia has never been a natural wealth center (though with modern transportation that is due to change).  Russia is at the end of the trail.  The wealth gravitates into the pockets of the traders, those who move goods.  And their natural abode is at crossroads, where the action of several regions come together and multiplies the opportunities.

                  Where opportunity meets opportunity - that is what wealth creation is about - when both parties see the goodies to be had, the visions of sugar plums danging in their heads, right next to the belly dancers and the hot babes from upriver.

                  And EVERYWHERE (almost) was upriver from Cahokia.  And what wasn't UP river was DOWN river.  In America, it was a no-brainer that Cahokia (or some other place within 30 miles) would be that threshold city, that first one.

                  Like you said, Chris, it wasn't going to happen in NW MN.  That area is WAY too much like Russia - kind of like Timbuktu, it wasn't the end of the world, but you could see it from there.

                  Not so Cahokia.

                  Steve


                  A kind of funny P.S....

                  I am reminded of my first day of school in Cahokia, wondering, "What kind of a name is that?"  and my 3rd grade teacher, Mrs Turner, calmly spelling it out for us - C-A-H-O-K-I-A.  And my brain reeled at such a name.  Cahokia?  Cahokia?  What the heck is a Cahokia?  Coming from St. Louis, now THAT is a name for a town!  Who would ever name a town something ungainly like "Cahokia"? *

                  Then in May 2000, attending David Childress' "End of the World" conference, when word got out that I was from Cahokia, I became a minor celebrity.  Even people from Europe knew about Cahokia, for god's sake!  (Which was ironic as hell, because I was only there because Chris Dunn told me about the conference, at a place called Kempton, IL - which I had ALSO lived within 5 miles of - and my reply to Chris was, "WHAT?!  You know where Kempton is???  Nobody knows where Kempton is!"  So, between Cahokia and Kempton - population 300 and steady for at least 40 years - somehow someone was trying to tell me something...LOL) 

                  ...Maybe Cahokia or Kempton are vortex centers like Sedona - or maybe it is me... Hahaha!  A walking, talking vortex center.  Now that is a scary thought...

                  Almost all done.  Now for that asterisk...

                  * On my last visit home to Cahokia, in 2001, I visited the Old Courthouse** (vintage 1799), which has to be one of the most unique architectural examples in all of North America.  Standing only a couple hundred yards from the Mississippi - directly across from the Budweiser Brewery in St Louis, that location made it mostly safe from springtime flooding, but close enough to command some say on what happened on the river.   I liked the Courthouse so much better as a kid, when we could roam around the display cases and even pull artifacts out and handle them. ("Oh?!  I wasn't supposed to take them out?  But the case wasn't locked!"  And what is the fun of that, anyway, Ma'am?") 

                  Someone had sanitized it all, and lost all the glamor and rustica.  God, it was like watching NOVA or something, all prettied up and safe-i-fied! 

                  But one thing I learned was this: Cahokia did not lose its primacy when the Europeans arrived.  On the contrary, at one point early on, it was the county seat of St Clair County, Illinois.  No big deal?  How about this: At that time (the time of the Northwest Territories) there wasn't any Illinois yet. And St Clair County included the western 1/3 of IL, about 1/2 of WI, the eastern 1/3 of Iowa and the SE portion of MN.  I believe it also included the NE corner of MO, too.  It was all bigger than Texas, I think.

                  It seems that crossroads thing was also recognized by the early settlers in the middle of America.

                  Granted, that literally was not the same Cahokia as the earlier culture.  But somehow the name apparently had carried some power to focus activity into the European age.

                  And BTW, Cahokia is the only U.S. town I know of where every high school student was required to take 9 weeks and study the history of their own city.

                  Okay, one more asterisk, the double one:

                  The Courthouse is NOT the oldest building in town.  That honor goes to the Holy Family Church (the old one).  It beat the Courthouse out by a full 100 years.  It was built - also by the French - in 1699.  It is the oldest building between California and the Appalachian mountains.  Cahokia, the town, dates its beginnings from that year, making it the oldest TOWN anywhere in the center of the U.S., including all along the Mississippi River, down to and including New Orleans. ***

                  *** Cahokia - the mounds now, not the "modern town" - was contiguous (as far as we know) with the Natchez Indians of the southern end of the Misssissippi and the Gulf coast for a few hundred miles east and west.  Ed Grondine, in his Man and Impact in the Americas has a translation of an account by a very early French adventurer who befriended the Natchez chieftan.  I believe the honcho was called a prince.  In the account, the Natches fled the mountains of northeastern Mexico because they got tired of having to stave off the Teotihuacans who were a violent sort of people who subjugated any clan they found - all but the Natchez.  The Natchez in Mexico were adept mountain fighters and never were never defeated by the people from the Valley of Mexico (the area around Mexico City).  But they decided it wasn't worth it, and one day they just left en masse, and headed up along the coast.  They ended up in the area south of Poverty Point, west along the coast to about far eastern Texas and east to the Florida panhandle.  And they DID have a pretty darned civilized culture.

                  It would be a miracle if there was not some overlap or inter-trading between the Natchez on the Mississippi River and the Cahokians, also along the Mississippi.  It is VERY likely that the Frenchman in the 1700s knew about Cahokia to the north, but his account did not include any mention of it in relationship to the Natchez.  At least not the part in Ed's book.

                  S.




                  --- In ancient_waterways_society@yahoogroups.com, Chris Patenaude <yacrispyubetcha@...> wrote:

                  My chances, this summer, to even get online have been few, let alone keep track of the overswamping flow of my online groups. Busy busy season!  That said, this 'finding things at Cahokia' reminds me of a question i wanted to pop out to the thinking heads at AWS. It is my own opinion that Cahokia, perforce of its placement and history, had trade route connections nearly coast to coast. Certainly it would have had access to the goods coming anywhere in the region of the Missouri and its tributaries.
                   
                   Awhile back, in archy-news bits, there was one archaeologist(?)/geologist(?) who claimed that Cahokia's trade contact was much more restricted than previously thought based on one finding he made. All this time, sez the guy, red pipestone being found at Cahokia has been assumed to be Catlinite from the Pipestone quarries in western MN.

                   But 'his' most recent chemical lab analysis of the archy-pieces are mislabeled and they were from stone much closer to Cahokia itself. Therefore, the man concludes that Cahokia did not even trade as far as Minnesota. This i cannot believe to be the case, as my own findings in my own county shows bits and pieces of stone tools using materials thousand or more miles away. Certainly Cahokia would have more trade than a backwater trading post in NW MN.

                   Has anyone else heard more of this claim/opinion of diminished Cahokian influence? Was the guy laughed out of the room, eventually?
                   -chris p

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