The long awaited final volume of the massive 8-volume set of archaeological reports on ISAS’s extensive 2008–2012 excavations of Cahokia’s East St. Louis Precinct is here! This latest volume lays out what we now know about the East St. Louis Precinct Faunal and Botanical Remains, complementing earlier reports on the discoveries of residential features, pottery, lithics, and special deposits of this largest-ever IDOT highway-bridge project through the middle of the most important, Mississippian-era, Indigenous urban complex north of central Mexico. Needless to say, if you seek to understand the big history of the pre-colonial midcontinent in any detail, then you have to buy and read this and the other volumes in the set. In this last volume, the editor and authors Jacob Skousen, Mary Simon, Steve Kuehn, Kim Schaefer, and Laura Kozuch document surprisingly consistent domesticated-crop and animal-protein diets among East St. Louis families through time. They also detail a series of modest community-wide feasting deposits, the commonplace associations of living areas with marine-shell-item crafting, a declining number of dogs through time, and the absence of evidence of wood overexploitation. You won’t know what really happened around Cahokia Mounds eight to 10 centuries ago unless you read this report. Author Mary Simon correctly concludes that East St. Louis Precinct Faunal and Botanical Remains provides modern researchers with the most robust evidence to date of what Indigenous life was like in the urbanizing landscape of the Mississippi valley centuries ago.
|ISAS Research Report