Earlier this summer, ISAS helped host the Peoria Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma Business Committee when they visited Cahokia Mounds World Heritage Site. The Peoria Business Committee is the Peoria Tribal Government and visiting members included: Chief Craig Harper, Second Chief Rosanna Dobbs, Secretary Tonya Mathews, Treasurer Hank Downum, Second Councilman Kara North, and Third Councilman Isabella Clifford. The Business Committee traveled from their Tribal Headquarters in Miami, Oklahoma to their Tribal homelands in what is now the state of Illinois. Cahokia Mounds in Collinsville is the largest Indigenous city and Mississippian mound center in the lands north of what is now Mexico and is a significant ancestral cultural site for the Peoria Tribe.
ISAS archaeologists Elizabeth Watts Malouchos, Erin Benson, Jacob Skousen, and Rob Rohe were joined by Cahokia Site Superintendent Lori Belknap, Cahokia Conservation Education Representative Justin Smock, and Illinois State Historic Preservation Office archaeologist Jeff Kruchten to welcome the Business Committee, tour to the top of Monks Mound, the largest earthen mound in the western hemisphere, and enjoy a picnic lunch with views of Cahokia’s monumental landscape. The visit was an exciting opportunity to discuss non-destructive geophysical research that ISAS is pursuing at Cahokia in consultation with descendant Tribal Nations, to experience the Cahokia Mounds Museum Society’s new augmented reality application that reconstructs the city of Cahokia as it was over a thousand years ago, and to discuss site stewardship and preservation. You can learn more about the history and culture of the Peoria Tribe here, Cahokia Mounds here, and the new Cahokia augmented reality experience here.