"Ancient Faith and the Fall of Cahokia"
Most ancient peoples, from Asia to the Americas, would not have known how to answer the question, “What do you believe in?” Religion was about life itself, positioning oneself in a dynamic world of spiritual powers. Through years of fieldwork at the ancient pre-Columbian city of Cahokia (in present-day Illinois), anthropologist Tim Pauketat has developed a perspective that blends social theory with vivid description of everyday agrarian life in this early civilization, including how the institutionalization of religion was a marker of its decline.
Timothy R. Pauketat is an Anthropology Professor and an archaeologist with the Illinois State Archaeological Survey at the University of Illinois. His research focuses on ancient intersections of humanity and history as understood through the materials, substances, other-than-human beings, and phenomena of urban experience, particularly in pre-Columbian North America. The author or editor of a dozen books, Tim has over 25 years of field experience in North American archaeology, with a focus on the development of the singular American Indian city of Cahokia, near St. Louis. His current research includes data-rich studies of agrarian settlements, climate change, religious practices, and political administration up and down the Mississippi River a thousand years ago.
See Chicago Humanities Festival website for more information about this event and how to obtain free tickets.