Cahokia: Mirror of the Cosmos (Hardback)Sally Kitt Chappell (author)
Hardback Published: 12/03/2002
At the turn of the last millennium, a powerful Native American civilization emerged and flourished in the American Midwest. By 1050 CE the population of its capital city, Cahokia, was larger than that of London. Its technology was Stone Age, yet its culture fostered widespread commerce, sophisticated artisitc expression and monumental architecture. The model for this urbane world was nothing less than the cosmos itself. The climax of their ritual centre, a four-tiered pyramid covering 14 acres, rose more than a 100 feet. This illustrated book traces the history of the six-square-mile area in the central Mississippi Valley from the Big Bang to the present. Sally A. Kitt Chappell seeks to answer fundamental questions about this unique space, which was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982. How did this swampy land become so amenable to human life? Who were the remarkable people who lived here before the Europeans came? Why did the whole civilization disappear so rapidly? And finally, what can we learn about ourselves as we look into the changing meaning of Cahokia through the ages. To explore these questions, Chappell probes a wide range of sources, including the work of astronomers, geographers, geologists, anthropologists and archaeologists. Archival photographs and newspaper accounts, as well as interviews with those who work at the site and Native Americans, bring the story up to the present. Tying together these many threads, Chappell weaves a rich tale of how different people conferred their values on the same piece of land and how the transformed landscape, in turn, inspired different values in them - cultural, spiritual, agricultural, economic and humanistic.
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Weight: 938 g
Dimensions: 248 x 224 x 21 mm
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