Location: Collinsville, Illinois, United States
This field school will take place at Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site in Collinsville, Illinois. Cahokia Mounds is located near modern day St. Louis, Missouri, and dates back to the 11th-14th century CE. It is the largest Native American city north of Mexico. Participating students will be a part of a new research project focusing on practices of earth-moving and modification in the creation and organization of social space in an urban environment. This project targets a residential area between three aboriginal borrow-pit features (places from which soil was taken to build the earthen pyramids in the city). We will be excavating three features: an early residential house, a probable public or special-use building dating to the later part of Cahokia’s occupation, and a reclaimed borrow pit identified during the previous season’s excavations. The overall project goal is to obtain a better understanding of the importance of earth and practices of earth-moving in a non-mounded landscape as it figures into residential and religious life during Cahokia’s formative years and its decline.
Period(s) of Occupation: Pre Contact Mississippian
Room and Board Arrangements
Students will live in comfortable, but modest, field housing in the Shiloh (IL) area at a local apartment complex. Each unfurnished apartment will be shared by up to five people and will have two bedrooms, one kitchen, and one bathroom. Students will be required to bring their own blow up twin-size mattress or cot, bedding (or sleeping bag), and towel(s). The site of Cahokia is located in Collinsville, Illinois a 30-minute drive from the field lodging.
All meals will be communal events and will provide plenty of nutritious but basic food. The daily diet will consist of protein, vegetable, and grains. Specialized diets (vegan, kosher, etc.) are difficult to maintain in a large group setting. Vegetarians, however, are more easily accommodated. Likewise, dietary allergies will be accommodated.
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