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Staging Ritual in the Lower Mississippi Valley: Exploration into Early Platform Mounds
February 26, 2018 @ 7:30 pm EST
700 E. Broadway
Monmouth, IL 61462 United States
AIA Society: Western Illinois (Monmouth)
Lectur by Meg Kassabaum, Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, Weingarten Assistant Curator for North America, Museum of Archaeology and Anthropoloy, University of Pennsylvania.
For more than 5,000 years, Native people have marked the landscape of what is now the United States with earthen monuments. This history is explored in a new exhibit at the Penn Museum in Philadelphia. This talk will discuss the long history of moundbuilding, the process of designing the exhibit, and my current research in the Lower Mississippi Valley. The Lower Valley is among the richest archaeological regions on the continent and contains both the oldest and some of the most elaborate monumental architecture in North America. The Coles Creek culture (AD 700-1000) existed during a particularly dynamic period in Lower Valley history when the construction of platform mounds became commonplace, people first began relying on domesticated plants, and a hierarchical sociopolitical system began to develop. My work on two Coles Creek mound sites in southwestern Mississippi has shed light on the nature of these transitions and augmented our understanding of the moundbuilders who created these amazing places.