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Ancient Illinois Village Unearths Lode Of Questions
University Of Illinois ^ | 9-02-2002 | Andrea Lynn

Posted on 09/02/2002 4:23:13 PM PDT by blam

Contact: Andrea Lynn
217-333 -2177
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Ancient Illinois village unearths lode of questions

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Digging under a blazing sun in an Illinois cornfield, archaeologists this summer unearthed a fascinating anomaly: a 900-year-old square hilltop village. The discovery near Shiloh -- about 15 miles southeast of St. Louis -- challenges previous notions of the area's first people and adds a piece to the puzzle that was Cahokia, a huge "mother culture" that suddenly appeared, and just as suddenly vanished, leaving only traces of its majesty and meaning in the 11th century.

Until now, archaeologists believed that large Cahokian populations settled only on the floodplains and that their villages sprawled in free-form fashion. This "new" ridge-sitting village with four linear sides and a rigid orientation of buildings "was mind-blowing," said lead archaeologist Timothy Pauketat, a professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "I can't think of another village in this area that's like this." The great mystery: What was the purpose of this unique hinterlands village 12 miles from the major population center in Cahokia, and why did it have a large central residence and religious structures -- a plaza and four temples, all atypical of Cahokian villages?

Pauketat's hunch is that it was a farming village, a "feeder" for Cahokia, and an administrative outpost where a top official and, perhaps, functionaries, oversaw farming and "controlled that piece of the economy." The "evidence of authority" in the hinterlands "makes Cahokia look more like a centralized civilization and less like an elusive free gathering of Native Americans," Pauketat said.

University archaeologists have been digging near or at the so-called "Grossmann Site" for several years, but it was only this summer that Illinois graduate student and chief supervisor Susan Alt, Pauketat and a group of Illinois students found the third and fourth sides -- now only stains in the ground – of the village, the 75 small rectangular houses that lined the sides, and the four giant temples. In the center of each temple, they found the holes that once held the telephone-pole-sized roof supports. The temples had huge vaulted ceilings and thatched roofs, "something you usually see on a mound top. We were completely shocked." They also found some temple "ritual debris," including a figurine -- fire-splintered into perhaps 2,000 pieces, plus crystals and burned tools. These probably are "the remains of annual ritual burnings, ceremonies called 'renewing the temple.' "

Cahokia was "drawing great numbers of people into it," Pauketat said. "It goes from 1,000 to 10,000 people in a matter of 50 years. Most went to Cahokia, but some ended up in places like this, sent to help administer the farmers." Why so many people relocated so rapidly is still a mystery, he said.

Some archaeologists, including Pauketat, think of Cahokia as a mother culture. "They do something that is entirely unique and they do it much earlier. Within a century or two, people up and down the Mississippi and across the coastal plain of the Southeast are copying them, so you get Mississippian mounds and large settlements, but you never get anything that rivals this. So, Cahokia is just a moment, an experiment in civilization, that falters and goes away and never really comes back."

### The National Science Foundation and the National Geographic Society also supported the dig.

TOPICS: News/Current Events; US: Illinois; US: Mississippi; US: Missouri
KEYWORDS: ancient; archaeology; cahokia; decalogue; ggg; godsgravesglyphs; grossmannsite; history; illinois; lode; loslunas; mississippi; missouri; monksmound; susanalt; tencommandments; timothypauketat; unearths; village
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I notice that it wasn't mentioned that maybe, just maybe, these people may have been from an entirely different culture. (I would like to see your speculations.) Weren't there some 'giant' skeletons found in this general area?
1 posted on 09/02/2002 4:23:14 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam
Adena Burial Mounds
2 posted on 09/02/2002 4:26:19 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam; *Gods, Graves, Glyphs
Ancient village people bump.
3 posted on 09/02/2002 4:26:35 PM PDT by El Sordo
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To: blam
Land Of Giants
4 posted on 09/02/2002 4:32:30 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam
"Weren't there some 'giant' skeletons found in this general area?"

"Giants" have been associated with many of the mounds.

Moundsville, Alabama boasts a small forward (6' 6", as I recall), who was buried with the trappings of authority.

5 posted on 09/02/2002 4:34:14 PM PDT by okie01
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To: blam
500 BC Effigy Mounds in NE Iowa. "America BC" all over again.
6 posted on 09/02/2002 4:34:42 PM PDT by LostTribe
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To: blam
A Tradition Of Giants
7 posted on 09/02/2002 4:38:31 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam
Giants In Our Midst
8 posted on 09/02/2002 4:44:57 PM PDT by blam
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To: okie01
Hilltop in Illinois?
9 posted on 09/02/2002 4:45:41 PM PDT by Thebaddog
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To: blam
Didn't the indians avoid W. Virginia as it was populated with a different people?
10 posted on 09/02/2002 5:03:42 PM PDT by TheLurkerX
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To: TheLurkerX
Still is.
11 posted on 09/02/2002 5:10:20 PM PDT by Lessismore
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To: Lessismore
12 posted on 09/02/2002 5:17:51 PM PDT by TN4Liberty
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To: TheLurkerX
"Didn't the indians avoid W. Virginia as it was populated with a different people?"

I don't know. I was hoping someone with knowledge in this area would show up and supply some answers. I know very little about all this and am hoping to learn.

13 posted on 09/02/2002 5:19:22 PM PDT by blam
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To: TN4Liberty; TheLurkerX
You can always leave it to FReepers to instantaneously give the perfect (smart-@$%) answer to any question. ROFLOL.
14 posted on 09/02/2002 5:27:54 PM PDT by FreedomPoster
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To: blam
I have to wonder about the author of that site and whether he was using for "scripture" something taken from what he thought were the Akashic Records. Ha ha ha.

For example, it's a common misconception that the passage in Genesis (6:1-3) says that the offspring of "the sons of G-d" (whatever that means) and the "daughters of men" were giants. It doesn't say this. The passage remarks that there were giants in those days. It then says (v 3), referring back to verse 2, that in addition to there having been giants in those days, the offspring of the SOG and DOM became mighty men of reknown. It doesn't, however, say that the MMOR were giants. What the text actually says, though, is often the least concern of many.
The biblical account then continues by saying that the offspring of the Sons of God and the daughters of men were "the giants who were in the earth in those days." So numerous did these giants become that they were a threat to the survival of the patriarchal race. Accordingly, the scripture tell us, God gave Enoch a magical or miraculous sword, called the "Sword of Methuselah," with which to slay them in a great purge. The race of giants then dwindled and finally became extinct, Goliath being the last of his race, slain by young David, future King of Israel, sometime prior to 1,000 B.C.
Sentence 1: The passage in question doesn't say this.

Sentence 2: Scripture (at least that associated with Genesis, ie., the Bible, the Torah) doesn't say this.

Sentence 3: Ditto. No sword. No purge.

Sentence 4: Ditto.

Sentence 5: Ditto. Goliath from Gath was a Philistine, hardly the last of his race.

Apparently Goliath had at least one big brother, Lahmi, who was killed, subsequent to Goliath's death at the hand of David, by a guy from Bethlehem. The only one referred to in scripture as being a giant (of the famed Anakim) and the last of his kind was Og king of Bashan (Deut 3:11). This was well over a couple of centuries before King David. Whatever the cause of Goliath's large condition, it wasn't, at least according to the Bible, because he was one of the Anakim.

Funny, in this context, that those who maintain that Goliath was the last of his race of the giants and that the giants referred to as the Anakim in Deuteronomy (B) were the same ones referred to in Genesis 6:1-3 (A), don't ask the question of where these giants came from if all humans alive at the time of B were descendents of the eight who made it through the flood as sole representatives of the human race, the giants A being antediluvian. Their answer? 1. They weren't human and only humans were in the ark? But they were called, according to these people, mighty men of reknown, the offspring of humans and "the sons of G-d". They aren't described as 'inhuman'. 2. These are all mythological tales and we can't attest to the complete facticity of any particular one? If so, then how to attest to the facticity of any? They become, then, simply the building blocks from which to erect entertaining tales about such things as the Sword of Methuselah. Meanwhile, people who have no little or no knowledge about the Bible hear these things, see the absurdities, and then assume that it's the Bible that is the source and go on to ridicule it on places like sites on the skeptic ring for saying things it never did. It's disheartening, though hardly surprising.
15 posted on 09/02/2002 5:42:04 PM PDT by aruanan
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To: blam
Thanks blam....I have spent many enjoyable hours reading about the Adena and Hopewell burial and effigy mounds but I have always found the Mississippian culture (Cahokia) more interesting....probably because there was more info and so many beautiful they have hit pay dirt again which will shed even more light on their culture.
16 posted on 09/02/2002 6:11:54 PM PDT by ruoflaw
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To: aruanan

Genesis 6:4
There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.

Numbers 13:33
And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.

Deuteronomy 2
10 The Emims dwelt therein in times past, a people great, and many, and tall, as the Anakims;
11 Which also were accounted giants, as the Anakims; but the Moabites called them Emims.

17 posted on 09/02/2002 6:15:23 PM PDT by ET(end tyranny)
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To: RightWhale; JudyB1938; Ernest_at_the_Beach; #3Fan; d4now; crystalk; Carry_Okie
18 posted on 09/02/2002 6:28:18 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam
What were the major crops that were grown? Corn?
19 posted on 09/02/2002 6:31:33 PM PDT by sawsalimb
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To: blam
While waiting for a Cahokia expert to show up:

Years ago, when I visited the site, the park displayed a reconstructed section of a perimeter wall around the Great Mound. I assume this was based on posthole diggings and that it's still there.

The wall surprised me. I would have taken a simple palisade in stride, but the reconstruction depicted a bastioned wall with fighting platforms and a complex gate. (All wood, of course.) No ditching was depicted, but the effect was, nonetheless, to suggest a considerably more sophisticated style of warfare than I would have imagined. I had recently read a very little bit (strictly a layman's idle curiosity) about stone age hillforts in Britain, and that was the comparison that popped into my head.

I wonder if anyone here knows if this kind of fortification is found in other pre-Columbian sites and whether there is related physical evidence (of fires, human remains, etc.) for large scale fighting among the mound builders?

20 posted on 09/02/2002 6:34:38 PM PDT by sphinx
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