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The Cahokia Mounds

Written by Warren King Moorehead and edited with and introdcution by John Kelly

Publication Year: 2000

A Dan Josselyn Memorial Publication

This edition of Moorehead's excavations at Cahokia provides a comprehensive collection of Moorehead's investigations of the nation's largest prehistoric mound center.

Covering almost fourteen square kilometers in Illinois, Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site is the largest prehistoric mound center in North America and has been designated a World Heritage Site by the United Nations. Built between A.D. 1050 and 1350, Cahokia originally contained the remains of over 100 earthen mounds that were used as places for Native American rituals, homes of chiefs, or elite tombs. Earlier scientists debated whether the mounds were part of the natural landscape, and many were destroyed by urban and industrial development

This book is a report of archaeological investigations conducted at Cahokia from 1921 to 1927 by Warren K. Moorehead, who confirmed that the mounds were built by indigenous peoples and who worked to assure preservation of the site. The volume includes Moorehead's final 1929 report along with portions of two preliminary reports, covering both Cahokia and several surrounding mound groups.

John Kelly's introduction to the book sets Moorehead's investigations in the context of other work conducted at Cahokia prior to the 1920s and afterwards. Kelly reviews Moorehead's work, which employed 19th-century excavation techniques combined with contemporary analytical methods, and explains how Moorehead contended with local social and political pressures.

Moorehead's work represented important excavations at a time when little other similar work was being done in the Midwest. The reissue of his findings gives us a glimpse into an important archaeological effort and helps us better appreciate the prehistoric legacy that he helped preserve.

Published by: The University of Alabama Press


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pp. v-vi

Figures and Plates

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pp. vii-xiii

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pp. xv-xvi

Any attempt to understand the history of archaeology cannot be accomplished without the much needed assistance and perceptiveness of those colleagues also engaged in this endeavor. The author would like to thank the following individuals who provided suggestions on the Introduction as well as their respective institutions where many of the documents are presently curated: Dr. James Bradley, Director of the R. S. Peabody Museum at Andover Academy; Professor Douglas Brewer, Director of the Natural History Museum...

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Note on This Edition

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pp. xvii-xviii

This edition reproduces the 1922, 1923, and 1929 University of Illinois Bulletins on the Cahokia Mounds by Warren K.Moorehead, without the bibliographies from the 1922 and 1923 volumes...

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pp. 1-48

N early one hundred mounds distributed over a five-square-mile area of the Mississippi floodplain constitute the large Mississippian site complex of Cahokia. Although located within eight miles of metropolitan St. Louis, Missouri, the Cahokia site has managed to survive much of the ravages of modern development. Within the last two hundred years Cahokia has attracted much attention from travelers,...


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pp. 49-57

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The Cahokia Mounds: A Preliminary Paper (1922)

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pp. 59-96

It is a pleasure to thank those who contributed toward the Cahokia explorations of September-October, 1921. The President and Trustees of the University of Illinois have my gratitude for their liberal appropriation. Doctor A. R. Crook, Chief, Illinois State Museum Division, also contributed generously and I desire to express appreciation....

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The Cahokia Mounds: Part I, A Report of Progress and Part II, Some Geological Aspects (1923)

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pp. 97-188

In the spring of 1922 and again during the fall of the same year, researches were continued at the Cahokia Mounds. It was due to the Trustees and the President of the University of Illinois that these additional researches were made possible. Two generous appropriations were made by the University. All artifacts and specimens found are in the Museum of Natural History at...

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The Cahokia Mounds (1929)

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pp. 189-368

It has been thought best to include in this report on the investigation and study of the Cahokia Mounds two previous reports which were issued as parts of the University of Illinois Bulletin Series. These are Volume XIX, No. 35} (1922), and Volume XXI, No.6, (1923). Changes have been made in both texts. In reprinting Bulletin No. 35, certain prefatory rem


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Key to Plates and Figure Numbers

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pp. 370-426

The illustrations on the following pages use the plate numbers and captions from the 1929 edition. The captions have been reset but retain the original spellings and capitalization. Within the captions, the figure numbers from the 1922 volume are added in brackets. The figure numbers from the 1923 volume are the same as the figures shown in the 1929 captions. The illustrations are printed in the order shown in the 1929 column....


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pp. 427-432

E-ISBN-13: 9780817384142
Print-ISBN-13: 9780817310103

Page Count: 456
Publication Year: 2000

OCLC Number: 47010752
MUSE Marc Record: Download for The Cahokia Mounds