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Ancient Towns Along the Big River

January 7, 2011Patrick NunnallyRiver Meaning, RiversComments Off on Ancient Towns Along the Big River

According to a recent news report, archaeologists in Illinois, working in East St. Louis along a route slated for a new Interstate 70 bridge, have discovered the remains of a town that appears to have been abandoned some 800 years ago.

Also unclear is the relationship between this community and the much larger, better known, Cahokia Mounds site, a site included on the UNESCO List of World Heritage Sites.

All well and good, and really interesting of course.

But here’s a bit of friendly advice for these archaeologists, which they may already be aware of and working on:

Ask living Native people, who very likely, if you can establish relationships of trust and reciprocity, know a lot about the site, the people who inhabited it, and maybe why they left.

At the end of the article, the coordinator of the field station crew working on the site is quoted, “We’re still in the beginning of the way to understanding,”

This is true, I think, of our relations with indigenous people everywhere on the continent. 

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