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508 | Ancient Faith and the Fall of Cahokia
508 | Ancient Faith and the Fall of Cahokia
Saturday, November 4 | 3 - 4 PM
Poetry Foundation
61 W Superior St | Chicago, IL | 60610
  • Members: $12
  • Public: $15
  • Students and Teachers: $10

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.

This program is presented in partnership with the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities and the Poetry Foundation.


Timothy R. Pauketat is a Professor of Anthropology and Medieval Studies 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 study of the materials, substances, and phenomena of urban experience in ancient America. The author or editor of a dozen books, Tim is currently studying agrarian settlement, climate change, religious practice, and political administration at and around the pre-Columbian American Indian city of Cahokia, near St. Louis.

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