Archaeology at French Colonial Cahokia
Paperback: 310
Publisher: Trieste Publishing
Language: English
ISBN: 9780649061365
Product Dimensions: 6.14 x 9.21 inches

Archaeology at French Colonial Cahokia

Bonnie L. Gums
George R. Holley
Neal H. Lopinot

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Book description

The historic French village of Cahokia, founded in 1699 as a mission by the Tamaroa and Cahokia Indians, is the oldest permanent European-American settlement on the Mississippi River. Cahokia was one of several 18th century villages and forts built in what is known as the Country of Illinois. Other French settlements in the American Bottom region on the east bank of the Mississippi River included Kaskaskia (1703), Fort de Chartres (ca. 1719), Prairie du Rocher (ca. 1721), and Saint. Philippe (ca. 1723). Across the Mississippi River in Missouri are the historic French settlements of St. Louis (1764) and Ste. Genevieve (ca. 1750). For much of the eighteenth century, these border settlements were the westernmost areas of the French regime, headquartered in Quebec, Canada, historically known as New France. The villages played a vital economic role in the fur trade and served as a political link between New France and settlements in the south, such as New Orleans, along the Mississippi River. The historical remains of this French network in and around the American Bottom are known today as the French Colonial District. Historically, the name of the French village comes from a group of ancient Cahokia Indians belonging to the Illini Confederacy. Today, the name is associated with several other American Bottom, including Cahokia Creek and Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site, a large prehistoric mound complex located 9 miles north of Cahokia village. Archaeological research on the territory of the Cahokia burial mounds has been going on for over a century. The recent discoveries of the historic Cahokia Illini settlement on the First Terrace of the main mound, Monk Mound (Walthall and Benchley, 1987), further complicate the terminology associated with Cahokia. To avoid any possible confusion, it should be emphasized that the archaeological research presented in this report took place in an 18th century French colonial village, known from 1701 as Cahokia (Schlarman 1929: 152).

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