Skip to Main Content

Bill Iseminger            


Cahokia Mounds: An Early Melting Pot

​March 16 event explains latest research on migration and diverse diet at Native American city

COLLINSVILLE, Ill. – New, high-tech research is changing our picture of life at Cahokia, the Native American city that thrived along the Mississippi River 1,000 years ago. Archaeologist Kristin Hedman will describe that changing picture Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site.

Hedman and other researchers now believe Cahokia was a “melting pot” that, like other cities throughout history, attracted immigrants from far and wide. They ate diverse diets and may have spoken different languages.
They reach this conclusion partly from studying the element strontium in teeth found at the site. The particular strontium profile for each person indicates whether they grew up in the Cahokia area or in some other spot with different levels of the element.
Hedman, a Ph.D. with the Illinois State Archaeological Survey at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, also has found new information about the bodies at the historic site’s Mound 72. The mound contains an important figure buried in a beaded cape, as well as the bodies of hundreds of others, many of them victims of violence.
Hedman’s free presentation, "Mound 72 Reconfigured: New Information on the Beaded Cape Burial," is the final program in the historic site’s Winter Lecture Series.
Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site is just eight miles from downtown St. Louis, in Collinsville, Illinois, off Interstates 55-70 (Exit 6) and Interstate 255 (Exit 24), on Collinsville Road. The site is open Wednesday through Sunday through the end of April.
There is no admission fee but a suggested donation of $7 for adults, $5 for seniors, $2 for students and $15 for families.  For more information or a calendar of events, call 618-346-5160 or go to
#   #   #