RESEARCHING KASKASKIA–Rebecca Ramey, left, a senior in anthropology at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, and Mark Wagner, professor in the School of Anthropology, Political Science & Sociology and director of SIU’s Center for Archaeological Investigations, are pictured going over maps depicting the lost original site of the town of Kaskaskia. Researchers think much of the lost community can still be found beneath the ground and finding it could teach important lessons about history. Photo by Russell Bailey.
By: Tim Crosby
It has been home to Native American tribes, French explorers and traders and early American settlers. It saw prosperity and wars and was mostly wiped away by flooding 150 years ago. But researchers at Southern Illinois University Carbondale think much of the lost community of Kaskaskia can still be found and locating it could teach us important lessons about our history.
Mark Wagner, professor in the School of Anthropology, Political Science and Sociology and director of SIU’s Center for Archaeological Investigations, is leading an investigation of Kaskaskia’s original site in hopes of finding how much of the historic town still survives. Evidence points to the possibility that more than half is still there – beneath the ground on what is now the west side – that’s largely the Missouri side – of the Mississippi River.
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