Talk:Cahokia/Archive 1

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Archive 1 Archive 2


I would like to point out that the name "Cahokia" is a name of a tribe that lived there in the 1600's not the tribe that built the mounds. There was no written record, and therfore no name for the tribe that built the moundsKevin127 (talk)

Wonder if the Mayans passed thru/were connected to the mounds. Looked up pieces of a sound-a-like in the Diccionario Maya, breaksdown into: K'ok (yucatec maya) ih (there) a(in the past). Don't know if this is gramatically/otherwise correct. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Cseewiki (talkcontribs) 13:58, 24 October 2009 (UTC)

NO. If you read the preceding post, you'll see that the name was from a tribe in the area in the 1700's. We don't know what the inhabitants called their own city 500 years before that. It is only a coincidence that the mayan word does that. Heironymous Rowe (talk) 17:29, 24 October 2009 (UTC)

Yes, I read that. It would be interesting to know what the Cahokia sub-tribe of the Illiniwek say about what their name means./*cseewiki*/ —Preceding unsigned comment added by Cseewiki (talkcontribs) 22:31, 24 October 2009 (UTC)

I'm sure it doesn't mean the same as the Mayan word. One is Algonquian and the other is Mayan. They have as much in common as Russian and Chineese. If they do have anything in commobn its because the ALIENS taught them both.Heironymous Rowe (talk) 23:19, 24 October 2009 (UTC)

Oddly, there is a Mayan sound-a-like for Algoquin (Aal K'on/Kon Cuen:this city,golden yellow)/sellers, city). But enough of this, its not as close to the Malseet (Elakomkwik).cecilia (talk) 11:54, 25 October 2009 (UTC)cecilia


Expanding additional reading section: shouldn't Cahokia : a world renewal cult heterarchy / A. Martin Byers.

  Gainesville, FL : University Press of Florida, c2006. 

be included? There is a grammatical error in the text ("The city population is thought to have relatively small," should read "The city population is thought to have been relatively small,"), but when I click on edit to correct this, I don't get the Cahokia text (I only get something like "cahokia" with double brackets around it.) Maybe somebody who can figure out how to work with Wikipedia can incorporate this small change.

Given the size of the city, this entry should stay separate.


I Agree with a recent edit that removed a statement indicating that living Siouan groups are the descendants of Cahokia. Although some archaeologists have made a case for that, there isn't enough evidence, and the citation was lacking anyway. But I don't agree with the editor's comment that "The first siouan tribes arrived to the Mississippi area in the 16th century and can't possibly be descendants of the builders." Both the historical record and archaeological record are really too fuzzy to be SURE that some of the Siouans aren't descended from Cahokians- after all, the Osage origin story states an origin from the east, which could be Cahokia. The Quapaw supposedly come from the Ohio River Valley, but it could have been Cahokia. That's all; I just wanted to comment. TriNotch 22:57, 20 March 2007 (UTC)


"approximately a mile (1.609 km)" I quite understand the metric system but giving measurements to 1 meter acuracy where the original text only says approximately just is wrong. 12:32, 28 May 2007 (UTC)

Plus the fact that this is a United States heritage site, so it makes sense to also include the Imperial measurements squared. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:33, 8 September 2010 (UTC)


The article used to say:

That means that Cahokia can boast the largest man-made earthen plaza in the world to this day.

I don't think that I believe this; think of a typical farm, or a mid-scale mining operation. I've removed it. If anyone has a reference and a more precise statement of the claim, then feel free to put it back. 04:05, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

A farm or a mine is not a plaza, though so your argument doesn't really apply. Rmhermen 05:32, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
How do you define "plaza"? If you think of its etymology ("playa") then any roughly flat surface will do. If the requirement is that it serve some social or organizational function, then I know that many cities have a public park that's still bigger and just as flat, or an athletic field. Does a farmer's field become a plaza if a flea market sets up there? Or can we count flat fields on a military base, if they are used for training?
How about a city, then? From what they explain at the visitor's center, the area around the mounds was not just bare land, but covered with houses and other buildings. If a "plaza" may contain buildings, then how about Manhattan? Or a typical suburb of St. Louis? The suburb is still more "earthen" than built-up.
The kind of earthmoving required to level fifty acres and build a hundred foot hill is just not that expensive. They move more dirt when they build a shopping mall. (Try measuring a large one in Google Earth.) There was no documentation of the original claim, and this makes it difficult for me to believe that no one in the modern world has built something larger and flatter, no matter how narrow the definition of "plaza". 17:22, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

From Wikipedia: a plaza is "an open urban public space, such as a city square." Linked from that article, list of city squares by size makes Cahokia's Grand Plaza the fourth largest community plaza in the world (Modern or prehistoric cities) at approximately 190,000 square meters. Since all the others are floored with stone or brick, the claim that Cahokia's plaza is the largest earthen plaza in the world is quite plausible- it certainly has no competitors in the United States. Of course, if one were to take that particular plaza definition at face value, it would include things like Central Park, which is indubitably larger than the Grand Plaza. However, the historical definition and etymology is not playa, but from the Spanish Plaza, from the Latin word Placea, "Place," earlier the Greek plateia, a street. This definition generally includes the stipulation that it be the center of town and the center of community activities- which would include the Grand Plaza easily, and Central Park only by a stretch. I believe I will add Cahokia's plaza to the aforementioned list, and restore the mention of Cahokia's plaza as being the largest earthen plaza in the world. I will provide a citation if you'd like- it is already in the references. Pauketat's 1994 volume mentions the size of the plaza in hectares (19, by the by). TriNotch 00:32, 21 July 2007 (UTC)

Not sure what I was thinking when I wrote "playa"; of course you are right.
I still don't like this claim. My (very superficial; perhaps you can correct me) understanding was that the area from Monk's Mound outwards was not just an open space; at the height of the civilisation, there were buildings on it. Is this the case? If so, then the fair comparison is not with other open city squares, but with other medium-density urban areas.
I am also not sure how meaningful it is to restrict the phrase "plaza" (or "city square," as it is now) in order to exclude, for example, Central Park, but still include the space near the mounds. By modern standards, an entirely unpaved surface would not be considered "urban" or "city", for the same reason that you were reluctant to count Central Park as a plaza in New York. This would make an "earthen city square" impossible by definition.
In general, I think that confusion arises because the space around the mounds is not directly comparable, either in use or in construction, to any modern facility. This makes the meaning of "city square", as it applies to Cahokia, unclear. If "city square" is defined narrowly enough to include Cahokia but exclude (larger) unpaved modern spaces, then the claim might be true, but I am not sure that it is still meaningful or notable. 04:04, 21 July 2007 (UTC)
And from the satellite photos at least (25°40'39.50"N 100°16'59.36"W), the Macroplaza in Monterrey looks mostly unpaved. I am not sure if that makes it "earthen", or whether "earthen" would require bare earth; but Cahokia is covered in grass now anyways. I think the "largest earthen" claim is either confusing or false, not sure which. 04:13, 21 July 2007 (UTC)
Pauketat, Kelly, Fritz, Lopinot, Elias, and Hargrave 2002 is cited as the source for the following statement in the text of this article:
The Grand Plaza of Cahokia is to this day the largest earthen city square in the world.[1]
I went through the text of my copy of Pauketat et al. 2002. I could not find a statement in Pauketat to match the assertion in the text. On page 257 of Pauketat et al. 2002 a passage mentions that the central plaza was:
...a massive labour project dating to the eleventh century AD that would have necessitated and then enabled collective gatherings....
The plaza is described again on pg. 258, but I could not find any instances in the text in which the plaza at Cahokia is "to this day the largest in the world". In the event that I have missed something in the text of this paper, kindly indicate the page number that mentions "to this day the largest in the world". Or perhaps there is another paper or publication by Pauketat that mentions this? Mumun 無文 20:07, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

The claim is definitely made in the Cahokia visitors center. I'll look through my photos from last week and see if I have a photo of such claim. It may also be stated during the film shown at the Visitors Center. --Pleasantville 18:03, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

As the curator at the Interpretive Center, I know of no place where such a statement was made about the plaza, in fact information about the plaza(s) is probably something we should add in the future. To check, I went back through the exhibits to make sure I had not missed anything and could not see any reference that might be interpreted that the Grand Plaza was the world's largest. It is not described as such in the film either. Would be interested if anyone finds the source for the quote.WRIseminger 21:37, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

It may have been something a volunteer said in a q&a. I don't remember. But I remember the claim. --Pleasantville 22:21, 21 September 2007 (UTC)
I hope that everyone knows what's going on here. Pauketat et al. 2002 has been used to support a claim, but Pauketat et al. does not contain any text that supports the claim in the text of the Cahokia article. It is not right to continue to claim this. It is a false claim indeed. Unless someone beats me to it I intend to place a indication that the claim needs a proper source. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:01, 21 September 2007 (UTC)
Hmm, the claim was made by an anonymous editor; here is when the change was made if anyone is interested. I don't know of any citation that claims it is the biggest plaza- Pauketat et al. only gives the area of the plaza, which is why it was originally cited there (I don't believe it was being used to deliberately support a false claim, as the previous editor seems to think). Although Cahokia's plaza DOES appear to be the biggest earthen plaza listed on our list of city squares by size article, that might be a Wikipedia:No original research problem. I suspect this claim originates in a popular source, although it may still be true. TriNotch 21:44, 22 September 2007 (UTC)
Let's just go with the idea that it is someone's (possibly correct) original reasearch, unless someone comes back with proper sourciing. That seems like the most appropriate decision. --Pleasantville 00:30, 23 September 2007 (UTC)
Price & Feinman list Cahokia as "The largest prehistoric community north of Mexico" (in fact, that's the chapter's subtitle). Fuzzform (talk) 21:57, 12 May 2008 (UTC)

Monk's Mound Excavation

I note some controversy over the Monk's Mound excavation, which excavation I think started on August 1st or the day before. I don't know anything about the governance of the Cahokia site, but fairly early in the morning on August 1st, we arrived and climbed the mound. We were denied access to the top of the mound by a friendly construction man who was just finishing putting orange plastic fencing across the top of the mound. When we mentioned this to the staff of the Vistor's center, they were unaware of it, and seemed not to have much information. There was a backhoe and a dumptruck. We took pictures. I added one of my photos here. The general batch is in my Flickr account at I can release others under GDFL if desired. --Pleasantville 22:05, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

You need to find a published source. Beware the NOR policy. --Kbh3rdtalk 23:16, 28 August 2007 (UTC)
No you don't. The photo is just fine. We encourage Wikipedians to take pictures. Rmhermen 23:43, 28 August 2007 (UTC)
Agreed, photos are great; the more the better! Actually, I think I conflused Pleasantville with Marburg72 whose recent contributions are referenced above. It is that unsourced text that reads more like a newspaper exposé than an encyclopedia article that I have reservations about, and I've flagged it in the article as "citation needed". It may be that it is a very important development, but Wikipedia is not the place for personal reporting. Others' creditable reporting should be referenced and incorported properly in the article. "The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth", to quote the official policy. --Kbh3rdtalk 03:00, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

Cahokia Mounds management did not have a permit to dig into monks mound. The Illinois Historic Preservation agency gave them permission to remove only the historic fill. The site director did this on his own initiative. I saw the letters on the IAS website detailing the site management's explanation of the work on monks mound. They clained to be doing this work to reduce the risk of erosion and to correct the slumpage issue which occurred over 20 years ago. Their comments to the Illinois Archaeology Society are an indictment that they never even considered the archeology when the 30,000 cubic feet of monks mound was torn out of the mound from three separate areas. The site management explanation makes the problem apparent that they did not consider the archaeological impact that this work would have. The fact is that the mound is actually a series of ancient sacred temples stacked on top of one another that the mound may have been covered with elaborate earthen layer of colored in blue, red, white, black, grey, brown, and orange soils. The site management never mentioned the other "Rejected Possibilities" that were proposed for this work in Cahokia Archaeological Society meetings. The website also makes it clear the professional archaeological community had no idea that this work was going to be done. I served as Vice President of the Cahokia Archaeological Society for 2004-2006 and this work of digging deeply into the mound was never mentioned to the CAS. However, the site managment did state in the CAS meetings they said they were looking forward to doing some "minor cosmetic work" on the mound. An elaborate earth painting or series of earth paintings covering the mound is a real possibility considering the complexity of color use in the top 10 feet of the surface of the mound. The unfortunate fact is that no floats were taken, no artifact bags lying around, or clip-boards were on site, No screening took place and the dirt was removed with track-hoe (no hand excavations going on at the time of destruction), and the dirt was piled up in multiple areas around the mound. As of August 25th, the large piles of dirt were still piled on top of monks mound but the excavations were completely filled in with loam with grass seed freshly spread on the soil that had been dumped in place by a dump truck. There was a large geotextile covering half of the newly deposited soil. After attempting to inspect the mound, I was told to stay off the mound by construction workers, who had parked their vehicles on the top of the mound. Construction and crew workers were parking vehicles on top of the smaller mounds, not to mention very large backhoes parked on the top of the mounds. According to Paula Cross, they were only supposed to remove the previous repair fill - and not impact the mound fill. But they went over a meter deep through a 50 ft wide and 50 ft long area. I calculated the volume of removed moundfill to total 30,000 cubic feet based on measurements of the piled up dirt south of the silos that are between Monks Mound and Woodhenge. The IHPA gave site directors permission to repair the damage. The depth of the excavations may have been caused by accidental removal of too much soil. However, a contractor should know that when digging into an archaeological site, the permits must be followed exactly. After a circle of limestone slabs and cedar posts had been hit by the backhoes, Tim Pauketat, an archeology professor at the University of Illinois stopped this excavation and expressed his unhappiness with the work (according to the IAS newsflash website).

The site management told me that "as long as its ripped wide open" then we should salvage what we can find. So they hired archaeologists to look at the profiles of the excavations for a few days. During this time, there were drawings made and measurements taken of the exposed features. However, "as long as it's ripped wide open" was illegal and should never have happened. Foremost for the reason that it is a desecration of sacred burial mounds.

A Doctor of Geophysics with professional licenses including geology, groundwater hydrology, and geophysics, looked at the slumpage with me after it occurred in 2004. His professional opinion of the slumping situation is to improve surface drainage of the mound by installing drainage. Possible methods include installing drainage tubing around the surface of the mound to allow for stormwater runoff to be diverted away from the mound. He said also pumped wells or drainage tubing could be installed to pump the waters out of the mound in extreme situations (like landfills). The archaeological impact of this work is the foremost consideration when deciding what to do. Basic soil engineering mechanics show that the area from the bottom of the excavation to the 45 degree angle from vertical is the affected range of soil. The unsupported excavations with backhoes in monks mound subject a much greater area to the catastrophic collapse. The excavations were about 40 feet deep vertically. The 40 feet over from the top edge of the excavations falls into the angle of repose. This means that point of unstable soil caused by slippage into the mound is now located 40 feet closer to the center of the top of the mound. The recommended methods used to reduce erosion and slumpage in saturated soil includes planting a strong cover of vegetation, and installing stormwater fences with drainage tubing. These recommendations were presented to site directors before the digging into monks mound with a backhoe occurred. Digging into the mound made the problem worse because the angle of repose was ignored. The clay soil of the mound will provide a slip zone for the loam that was deposited on the mound. Also, soil profiling was done after the cuts into the mound were made by the Backhoes. The soil from the mound was not sifted by anyone and this work was done in the area of the "birdman" tablet discovery. I walked around the piled up heaps of monks mound, and quickly found 14 sherds of bright red pottery on the surface of the heaps. Some of the pottery was vivid purple or magenta and red. Preservation is defined as following the laws to protect the archaeological sites. The limestone cairn lined with cedar logs and charred remains that was hit by the backhoe is most likely a burial. The Collected Works of Gregory Perino show many examples of limestone circles, and almost without exception, these surround burials. You might want to further consider the legal problem. Before disturbing an archaeological site a contractor is required to have a permit from the state historical preservation agency. If they only had a permit to remove the historic fill, then there was a criminal violation. The contractor had to know this and Site management had to know this. Below are the links to all the photos that I have taken available on Monks Mound during the destruction. --Marburg72

Marburg, I hope you will stay on Wikipedia and make yourself a user page. In the interim, consider this a response both to your comments here and on my user page. Regardless of how egregious you may feel the excavations into Monks Mound were- and I think it is undeniable that invasive excavation into Monks Mound is regrettable- I still feel that Wikipedia is not an appropriate venue for you, or us, to criticize the excavators or the excavations. Because Wikipedia must rely on published sources, preferably from a neutral point of view, none of our personal observations (other than our private photographs) are acceptable submissions to Wikipedia articles. I could not find the Illinois Archaeological Society newsflash that you talked about- if you could link us to that, it would probably be an acceptable source.
I have a question for you based on my personal curiosity, if you'd be willing to write me about it. I am curious about this "earth painting" or colored layers you talk about, and I'm not sure what you mean. So- What is an "earth painting?" TriNotch 05:11, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
I think Marburg should be encouraged to post what is known about the excavation here so we can find appropriate sources. As I said, when it started, there seemed to be a lot of confusion about what was up. (I was there as a tourist at the time.) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Pleasantville (talkcontribs) 16:07, August 30, 2007 (UTC)
Earth paintings are found at Wickliffe Mounds, Etowah, Ocmulgee, and other mounds. An earth painting is like a sand painting however it is made with colorful earth materials like clay and soils at a layer in the mounds construction. Some earth paintings include thunderbird motifs with a circle surrounding the image, like at Wickliffe. The earth painting at Wickliffe is on display in the interpretive center and is protected by uv proof glass. This ancient Native American painting is protected from damage as the entire section of soil was removed as one layer. The earth paintings reflect the wisdom that was once current in every mind. It is likely that Monks mound was covered with a major earth painting because the two sides of the cut that were over 50 feet away from each other had use of color that indicates continuity. The book called "The Deleware Indian Big House Ceremony" by Frank Speck describes these events is great detail. In other words, monks mound was at one time covered with a design made with colorful clays. Later it was covered with windblown soil and grasses and trees. Due to the extreme nature of the excavations, all layers of the mound in the area were torn through which destroyed any trace of the paintings and the cut on the sides is like a cross section through layers of paint on a VanGogh being sliced by a saw. The orb shapes in the soil and the blue, red, orange, white and black soils were not just randomly placed on the mound but instead part of a larger earth paining. -- Marburg72

TriNotch: In response to your removal of the information about the excavation for "more neutral" presentation, it does not undo the damage. The site management planned to dig into monks mound with backhoes and got away with it - so far. Their destructive work is against the law and the information I presented was the truth. Rainwater was not in immanent threat of washing away 30,000 cubic feet. -- Marburg72

This is my letter to the editor, written by Dr. Larry Barrows, Environmental Geophysicist ( I would like to call your attention to the recent damage done to one our states historic treasures. In this case, the damage was done by the same people and agencies that were responsible for protecting it.

I am referring to the recent misguided attempts to stabilize Monks Mound at the Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site, located in East St. Louis, IL. Cahokia Mounds is the center of an ancient Native American civilization. It contains a series of earthen mounds, the largest of which is Monks Mound. There are also hiking trails and a museum with a visitor’s center. Monks mound is by far the largest mound of the complex. It was the foundation for the chief’s temple.

Historically, Monks Mound has also been subject to erosion and slumping. During August 2007, an attempt was made to prevent further erosion and stabilize the structure. This involved cutting terraces into the sides of the mound with heavy machinery (see photo). Approximately 30,000 cubic feet of mound material was removed and hauled away in dump trucks. Erosion could have been controlled by a good cover of grass. Stability could have been maintained by installation of a system of underdrains that remove water from the material. Neither of these actions would have disturbed the actual mound material.

No attempt was made to properly excavate the terraces, record what was encountered, or to sift the material that was removed. Broken pottery, cedar posts, and limestone blocks were encountered. Also encountered were distinct layers of brightly colored material. Quite possibly, these were brightly colored surfaces covering earlier mounds. These layers of colored soil may have included Native American symbols. With the destructive excavation methods used, we will never know.

It should be remembered that Monks Mound is not a single mound of dirt on which a temple was constructed. Rather, it is a sequence of temples and royal burials built one upon the other. The mound is likely the best preserved record of thousands of years of Native American civilization.

Hopefully the state can review the manner in which historic treasures are protected. Hopefully the people responsible for this destruction can be held accountable for the damage.

For more information and photos, see

A professional response to this discussion has been made... I think

This is quite interesting. On my user talk page, it appears that Bill Iseminger from the Cahokia Mounds management has decided to respond to this Wikipedia debate we're all involved in. Apparently there will be ample resources for us to cite in a few months. In the meantime, I propose (again) that the recent excavations be mentioned briefly, without either praise or criticism, so that we do not continue to have POV and possibly inaccurate statements about the situation. Clearly we are attracting attention, and must be aware that we are under the scrutiny of professionals in the field; furthermore, our article here may become a touchpoint in a real-world debate on the subject. Allowing the article to express an opinion, pro- or con-, involves us in a real-world dispute, which is really not the point of Wikipedia.

I suspect a couple of new Wikipedians are reading this, so if you are uncertain what I mean by POV, check out Wikipedia:Neutral point of view, which is our official policy on advancing one's own perspective over others. Also, in this circumstance, Wikipedia:No original research would be useful reading. I believe I will institute just such a change in the main article on this. Of course, I welcome further discussion. TriNotch 04:40, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

It seems to me that this is likely to attract the documentation in the form of news coverage or scholarly papers that would allow the information presented here to make its way into the Wikipedia entry. Those of us uninvolved in the dispute will be better able to find proper documentation if we know what the issues are. Cahokia is a World Heritage site and both the application of a backhoe to its most notable feature, and what was found as a result are both highly notable. --Pleasantville 13:30, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

You might want to also view user Mark.Esarey where the site director responded to several questions that I posted. --Marburg72

corrections and clarifications

Much of the information presented by this discussion has either incorrect statements, misinterpretations, or some blatantly false statements. I could go through these point by point but I am not sure it would influence the other writer as he has already made up his mind and does not appear to be willing to listen to any other point of view.

Just a few bullets here -there was a permit to do the repair project on the mound. If it had not been done, the slump would eat back into the mound more and cause even greater damage to it. -We had professional soil engineers, geotechnicians, geomorphologists, and others all review this project over a two year period, and the project was a result of their recommendations -It s false statement that there was no concern for the archaeology. Having an archaeologist on site at all times was always part of the plan and in the contract. The point we made in our responses and postings on other sites, was that the repair was the primary goal and that the archaeologist would be a monitor in case something came up and the project needed to be stopped. As the project progressed it became apparent that a more massive amount of fill needed to be removed to get behind the slip faces of the slumps. Then, a more intensive archeologocial project developed overa two week period, with sometimes 15-20 people carefully documenting the exposures with maps of each terrace face and profile, over 1000 detailed digital images of the features and profiles, and over 100 soil samples and soil columns recovered for analysis. This was not a whimsy dig but a professionally run one. We were limited on time because we did not want the exposure open to the weather and we needed to do the repairs quickly. Even so, we shut down the contractor for two days so that we could catch up with the mapping and data recording and get ahead of the backfilling. It is a disservice to the dozens of workers who spent many days in 100 degree weather to imply none of this was done. -the repairs were made with bottomland gumbo clay, not loam and it was not dumped in with a dump truck but lifted in with track hoes onto a geotechnical grid in horizontal layers, them compressed with a compactor to a required compaction monitored by the geotechnical firm with each one foot deposit. -Tim Pauketat did not stop the contractor, Tim Schilling and myself did, when the limestone slabs were encountered. Pauketat came up shortly afterwards and asked if we had stopped him and we said we did from working in that particular area. -I could go on and on but at least wanted to set some of the facts straight. —Preceding unsigned comment added by WRIseminger (talkcontribs) 17:32, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

You act as if you own the mounds. The right to dig into monks mound with a backhoe is not yours and will forever be the worst thing that happened to Monks Mound. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:43, 1 September 2007 (UTC)
I finally got a response to my FOIA request. The legal boss said “No permit is required when they are working on their own property.” They are going to send me a letter saying the same thing. Marburg72 20:18, 9 October 2007 (UTC)
Marburg72, doesn't this response you received to your FOIA request mean that in fact there was no illegality or improper basis to the excavation, contrary to your allegations above? A little hard to tell from the way you've phrased it, but that would seem to be the case judging by these notes from the IAS annual conference in Sept '07 when the matter was discussed. As Paula Cross, IHPA superintendant is recorded as noting, " “permitting” requirements had been violated and that in fact “permitting” did not apply to government agencies working on government land. Instead there is a protocol of “approval” that is required and that IHPA was very careful to comply with the protocol."
If so, then surely the right thing to do would be to note this explicitly here, that your presumption and allegation that the work was carried out improperly without the right permits in place was mistaken and false, and to withdraw the charge. --cjllw ʘ TALK 06:09, 24 June 2008 (UTC)
No, CJLL, it means that the IHPA is improperly assuming that they "own Monks Mound", But in fact they are supposed to be "preserving" it and Managing the site. Last I checked there is no provision for destroying over 30,000 cubic feet of the mound with backhoes, dumping it into dumptrucks, and then piling it up without looking at the mound. The False statements by Site managment that they were doing this to avert the threat of "emergency rainwater erosion" is unsupported by any facts. See for the Wotanging Ikche newsletter. There were no permits according to IHPA, and there is not any reason to suspect that removal of the mound material is preserving the mound.You again failed to mention the fact that a Cahokia Committee was intalled after this destruction of the Mound expressly against the agreement of the State "historic preservation" superintendent - because of the lack of communication with site mangament and the Master Management Plan. As the IAS stated "From my perspective, there was an obvious miscommunication regarding the importance of intergroup communication." You also failed to mention "At the Saturday morning paper session there was some further discussion of the Cahokia Committee. While Paula Cross did not contribute, Fellows Mark Esarey and John Kelly were pressed very hard by colleagues bearing concerns over the slump stabilization strategy and methodology. On balance, Kelly noted that if we, or anybody, wanted to know what was happening at Cahokia, we should join the Cahokia Museum Society. However, the IAS’s discussions and issues are with IHPA and not the project contractor and it is not clear whether this was an agency position statement or a personal, visceral response. Actually, as nearly as I could determine, IHPA really did not directly respond to questions and thoughts regarding re-establishing the Cahokia Committee. Questions were somehow just re-directed and thereby avoided. " Seems as though you ignore the fact also that "The operational or field decisions regarding control over the activity of the hoe operator and how much and which of the undisturbed mound fill to remove remained glossed with the assertion that, “We had someone there all of the time keeping an eye on the mechanical excavation.” The response to the question of whether this was at times only Dr. Kidder’s graduate student volunteer was, “Yes.” " This means no archaeologists were on site when the backhoe operator proceeded to tear out over 30,000 cubic feet from the largest remaining Ancient Indian Mound in the USA. It is apparent that you do not understand this topic or the Walam Olum or the Mound 72 issue and your presentation of the issue is entirely false and uninformed. This was not a "win" for the IHPA Marburg72 (talk) 13:11, 24 June 2008 (UTC)
Nothing in those quotes you have reproduced establishes or says anything about illegal activity taking place, which is why I did not mention them. All those quotes show is that there were some in the IAS who voiced concerns (unspecified in the text) about the site management and the slump repairs, and that perhaps the IHPA could have done a better job in communicating what was going on. That's all. On the other hand, the quote I did reproduce does support the finding that no illegality was involved.
As for the now-reconsituted Cahokia Committee and IHPA's reluctance at the time, the IAS president noted "In fairness, as several Fellows have noted to me, no state or federal agency would willingly endorse an external oversight committee. I don’t know how the IAS could compel IHPA’s acquiescence to such a committee’s presence... Lastly, in all truthfulness, the IAS, as a voluntary association, is likely not capable of adequately and correctly assuming such responsibilities [of oversighting]." Whatever disagreements and dissatisfaction in the IAS about lack of consultation by the IHPA there have been (or, FAIK, still are), has also nothing to do with your personal accusations of illegal and improper behaviour on the part of the IHPA.
For you to offer up those two "sources" in support of your complaints —the historyofmonksmound webpage and the Wotanging Ikche newsletter— is highly disingenuous. I say disingenuous, since you are the author of both of these, yet did not disclose this fact. Did you think we'd take these to be independent confirmations? You wrote and stitched together the webpage, and it was you who submitted that letter to Wotanging Ikche. These do nothing more than reproduce the same sorts of allegations you've been committing to wikipedia. As "sources" they have no value, and it is apparent that you are the only person making these claims, and are the only "source" to back it up. Maybe there are others out there who were upset or concerned about any 'damage' resulting from the slump repairs, maybe even IAS members. But there seems to be no-one else putting any direct criticism and complaint in writing, and certainly no-one other than you claiming the repairs were "illegal".
Like it or not, the Illinois state govt. has the proper and legal title (ie, ownership) over Monks Mound and the Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site, and the IHPA is the authorised body responsible for the site —not the IAS, and certainly not you. The available records show there is no cause to believe anything was conducted without the proper permissions and approvals in place. Nothing besides your own personal opinion and assessment, and we've no cause to give any credence to your views, particularly when they seem amply contradicted by the materials on record.
If some impropriety or illegality took place, then was anybody charged? Prosecuted? Fined? Anyone reprimanded, lost their job? Any commission of enquiry initiated? The answer, evidently, is no. You therefore have no basis at all to your allegation of illegality, or to your characterisation of "false statements" being issued. Whatever the reason behind your dispute with the IHPA and its site management, the articles and talk pages on wikipedia are not the place to pursue the matter. Please stop doing so. --cjllw ʘ TALK 05:40, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
Despite CJLLs apparent continued lack of any comprehension of what happened on the Monks Mound, seveal mistakes in his reasoning about the situation are relavent. First, the Cahokia Committe was installed to review any future excavations or activiites on the site after the destruction occurred. This committee was initiated after the objection was voiced from the offials responsible for the destruction. The illegality of digging into a mound and burial site is firmly founded in the laws that I cited previously. The wotanging Ikche was the featured article published and copyrighted in Volume 15 issue 51 from December 12, 2007 Wotanging Ikche and Native American News Copyright c. 1996-2008; Aboriginal/AmerIndian Perspective about the First Nations of Turtle Island. The comments on cite specific quotes from the National Geographic Society who appreciated the comprehensive description of the destruction and Tim Pauketat, the expert on Cahokia that agreed that the recent work should result in a more serious look at the preservation standards used by the IHPA. He is the chair of the Cahokia Committe now - and deserves credit for stopping the destruction at Monks Mound. CJLL is entirely off based to discount my work on this subject also because I served as the Vice President of the Cahokia Archaeological Society prior to the destruction. Also, the Illinois State owns the site, IHPA mangages it and is supposed to preserve it, not destroy it with backhoes. CJLL is wrong in his allegations on all counts!Marburg72 (talk) 12:56, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

"slumping" vs. "erosion"

Erosion may be the more correct term, but when I was onsite at the begining of the excavation, the constroction man I talked to used the word "slumping" to describe what the excavation was intended to prevent. --Pleasantville 14:16, 2 September 2007 (UTC)

Statements by (Marburg72)

Repeated statements by [Marburg72] that the repair project was illegal constitute libel. [Marburg72] was formerly a volunteer at the Cahokia Mounds Historic Site until about one year ago. Since that time he has spent a great deal of time writing letters attacking how the site is operated. We have copies of many, perhaps all, of these letters on file at the site from people who forwarded them to us asking about his allegations. At least several other statements by [Marburg72] posted in the Wikipedia Cahokia Mounds and Monks Mound pages also appear to consitiute libel. See the point by point discussion of [Marburg72]'s statements by Bill Iseminger.

[Marburg72]'s postings appear to repeatedly violate several of Wikipedia's posting rules. Being new to posting on Wikipedia myself in the past few days I am somewhat at a loss to understand how such vilations of Wikipedia's policies are dealt with.

Mark Esarey, Site Manager Cahokia Mounds Historic Site also a professional archaeologist Mark.Esarey 00:12, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

I've put a temporary block on Marburg72 and the IP address he's been using. I have admin privileges but usually just use them for blocking everyday petty vandals. This is a different sort of matter, and I may refer it to arbitration to see if others believe a permanent block is warranted or have a better solution. I'm loathe to block anyone who seems to believe they are in the right, as opposed to thoughtless vandals, but these are serious allegations, and it appears that many policies are being ignored by this user, including WP:SOAP, WP:BATTLE, WP:OR, WP:TONE, WP:VERIFY, and probably others. Wikipedia is not a proper place for fast breaking, investigative reporting, so it shouldn't hurt to slow down coverage of this dispute until properly verifiable and scholarly sources are available for reference. --Kbh3rdtalk 13:12, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
All of the parties participating in this dispute seem to have been officers of the Cahokia Archeaological Society at the same time.[1] It's a shame there isn't journalistic coverage of the excavation by which some of this could be sourced, but at present, there doesn't seem to be. I hope you can find a better solution than blocking, since this is indeed very different than vandalism. At present, these talk pages are the only source on the web for satisfying my curiosity about the matter. --Pleasantville 14:04, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
I've pointed out to Marburg72 how to appeal the block. For the reasons given above I wouldn't be offended to be overturned by other administrators, and in any case would welcome his soliciting other admins' opinions on his activities here. (I've been navigating the dispute resolution pages and haven't yet quite figured where this fits in, frankly.) --Kbh3rdtalk 19:33, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
I've updated the text to reflect the fact that the controversy exists. The best online documentation of this controversy I know of is this talk page, which contains statements by apparent experts on both sides of the issue. Since this talk page may veer from that topic, I linked to the latest edit by Kbh3rd. I don't know how to make a wikilink to a particular version of a page, so I used an http link. Feel free to fix that, but please don't omit the existence of a controversy, since that is quite relevant to the state of the mound.–Dan Hoeytalk 14:32, 7 September 2007 (UTC)
User Kbh3rd has chosen to unblock my screen name with the statement that discussions should be taken some place else. I wish to clarify the intension of my comments and bring discussion elsewhere. At no time was the information presented political or a soapbox or any other violations as Kbh3rd stated, rather intended entirely in good faith for the benefit of the site. Now I know that changes must be approved by all before they are made and will not contribute any changes without the approval of all people.
At no time did I intend to commit libel against user Mark.Esarey and I do wish to remove any statements that he does consider to be libel. Please point out which statements he does consider to be libel, and I will be happy to remove them. See also Wikipedia:Libel and Wikipedia:No legal threats
Also, I believe that my personal information posted in his response such as my name and fathers name have no bearing to this conversation, and should be removed under oversight. See WP:OVERSIGHT.
Recommend looking at for clarification of the choice of words describing the events. excavation does not seem to fit into the "basic types" described on the description on the excavation page. Suggest "Over-cut" for the more correct description. I am not a "blogger" and have no suggestions about where this conversation should be taken. Any suggestions? I have several sources to recommend to add quality to the Cahokia Page with relevant verifiable info:
"Accelerated Soil Erosion" located:
1971 An Archaeological Survey of the American Bottoms in Madison and St. Clair Counties Illinois. In: AN ARCHAEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF THE AMERICAN BOTTOMS AND WOOD RIVER TERRACE. Illinois State Museum Reports of Investigations, No. 21, pp. 19-39. Springfield.

Also, I recommend adding a link to: for the current description of the destruction. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:51, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

Marburg72 22:33, 7 September 2007 (UTC)

I do have a blog and am willing to host such conversation if it can be a conversation. --Pleasantville 22:40, 7 September 2007 (UTC)

The authorization permits for the monks mound approval from the IHPA were requested August 25, 2007. It is Illinois state policy to respond to the request for public information such as this is by 1 month after request is submitted. As of October 2, 2007, the permits for monks mound work have not been received and no response has been given. This is a violation of the freedom of information act. A follow up is underway. Marburg72 19:15, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

I finally got a response to my FOIA request. The legal boss said “No permit is required when they are working on their own property.” They are going to send me a letter saying the same thing. Marburg72 20:15, 9 October 2007 (UTC)
[User:Tri-notch] stated on the Wickliffe Mounds site that "Their venture was highly controversial because they used sensational and misleading advertising, altered the site in some ways to make it more visually appealing, and had very dubious and exaggerated interpretations of the site, acts which put them directly in opposition to professional archaeologists that had examined the site." Would someone please explain what difference is there between this and the fiasco at Cahokia in August 2007? Marburg72 14:32, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

Mound 72 Gender Determination

In regards to the recent addition of information about the gender of the burials in mound 72 and their status as "virgins", This information needs to be referenced. According to Fowler's report, "the Analysis of the skeleton was severely hampered by the poor bone preservation due to a variety of causes. The weight of the overlying clay and the soft consistency of the moist bone resulted in all the bone being crusted and flattened to the extent of reducing the diameter of the long bones by 50%. The soft bone was difficult to remove and only a few were removed intact. The hardening and cracking of the clay as it dried further fragmented the bone and contributed to the difficulty of burial removal, Futther deterioration resulted from torrential rains which would frequently flood the site and burials from one to several days at a time... A sex determination from the pelvic category were considered necessary to assign a sex designation... etc " In light of this information, the gender of the burials was not certain and could not be accurately determined. If there is any other information that is available that provides a more scientific basis for the conclusions, please let me know. Marburg72 (talk)

Mound 72 Vertical fingers equals Buried Alive?

In regards to the claim that the vertical fingers are evidence that the humans were "buried alive and were attempting to dig themselves out of their grave", this is purely speculative. The sentence from Youngs book states "From the vertical position of some of the fingers, which appear to have been digging in the sand, it is apparent that not all of the victims were dead when they were interred - that some had been trying to pull themselves out of the mass of bodies." This statement ignores the fact that rigormortis causes fingers to curl, and there is no cultural data to support "buried alive" scenario. The fact is that the skeletons were so badly decayed that they had turned to dust when they were exposed to the air and wetness from flood inundation according to Fowlers book. Therefore the data is not sufficient to proove that the skeletons were not dead and the comment should be removed. Marburg72 (talk) 19:38, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

This is an encyclopedia, and WP:Verify clearly states "The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth—that is, whether readers are able to check that material added to Wikipedia has already been published by a reliable source, not whether we think it is true." The bold text is in the original. The text was 'thought to be', it does not assert they were. It's a reliable source. It says what it says despite your claim earlier that it does not. You are welcome to find reliable sources that give your point of view, but not to delete reliably and verifiably sourced text simply because you think it is wrong. Doug Weller (talk) 20:49, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
The statement is not verifyable, and is entirely unreliable speculation. It must be removed. (talk) 20:57, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
Of course it is verifiable, you can read it through Google books. "that is, whether readers are able to check that material added to Wikipedia has already been published by a reliable source, not whether we think it is true. Editors should provide a reliable source for quotations and for any material that is challenged or is likely to be challenged, or the material may be removed." That is what verifiable means, not that we have to verify what is in a book or scholarly journal is true. If you can show that Young and Fowler are considered by other scholars to be absolutely unreliable and useless, I will of course agree that it shouldn't be there. But I think they are a reliable source and it is simple to verify what they have said and that I have reported it accurately (althought it would be ok even if it wasn't as simple to check what they wrote). That is what is required to be used in a Wikipedia article. Editors shouldn't be deciding what is true and what isn't, just what is a significant view from a verifiable and reliable source. Please if you want to reply explain what is incorrect about what I've said about Wikipedia policy, not that you don't believe it. I can understand if you are frustrated because you think you know more than the authors of the book, and that can happen, but it can't be used as a reason to include or exclude sources. Doug Weller (talk) 21:06, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
Why are you referring to WP:Battle? I am trying to explain to you why text that I added has a legitimate place in the article. That has nothing to do with making Wikipedia a battleground, indeed just the opposite. I'm asking you to explain why, in terms of Wikipedia's policies and guidelines, you are reverting reliably sourced text. Please. Doug Weller (talk) 21:22, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
You are turning this into your battleground, which is clearly not the purpose of Wikipedia. Your source is highly speculative and not reliable. Once again, Your personal opinion or the authors speculation is not based on any facts and is not supported by the evidence presented in Fowler's book. I am not going to fight with you. The buried alive statement is mere speculation and is not worthy of mention. Your racist attitude is clearly clouding your judgment. Marburg72 (talk) 22:47, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
This is getting bizarre. Are you accusing me of not reporting the book correctly, or are you accusing the authors (described here [2] as "the master archaeologist of Cahokia and his partner" of being unreliable? To call me racist is not only a personal attack (and interesting in view of the fact you think I am making this a battleground), ir's flat out wring, I have a long history of fighting racism. I note that you don't seem to be able to be specific about my racism. I've now revised the text I added to give a quote. I hope that is satisfactory.
Is it simply adding text about violent deaths and human sacrifice that make you call me racist?Doug Weller (talk) 06:22, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
You added the text and reworded it too as if it was fact. Racist attitudes are relevant when discussing Native American Burials and making claims that they were 1. Sacrifices, 2. Virgins, 3. Buried Alive, 4. All females. These concepts are far from verifyable with skeletons that Fowler stated in Mound 72 book "gender was unable to be determined and skeletons were in severely deteriorated condition." Fowler did not state that the fingers were positioned vertically and did not state the burials were attempting to dig themselves out of their graves. Once again the text says "From the vertical position of some of the fingers, which appear to have been digging in the sand, it is apparent that not all of the victims were dead when they were interred - that some had been trying to pull themselves out of the mass of bodies." That is wild speculation and is unverifyable. Until you cite a scientific journal that references this material, it should be left out. Also, the "Chief Archaeologist at Cahokia" is not Young. Marburg72 (talk) 12:35, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

Please read Wikipedia policies and guidelines. The role of an editor is not to check if what a reliable source says is correct, as you seem to think. I am getting tired of restating policy and guidelines. And I did not reword it as if it was fact. (And if I had by mistake, that would be easy to change and not an excuse to delete). It is not necessary to have Young and Fowler verified by someone else. And of course 'chief archaeologist' doesn't refer to Young, it refers to Fowler. Fowler and Young wrote the book together, and I doubt very much Fowler allowed Young to add something he didn't approve. Racist attitudes are always relevant, but fortunately I don't have one. It isn't racist to scientifically discuss human sacrifice, virgins, etc anywhere. You really need to take this up with Fowler and Young, not me, as they were the ones who wrote the quote. Doug Weller (talk) 13:39, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

Once again, Your citation is Not reliable because it is not referenced in a scholarly journal and it is wildly speculative. You apparently do not understand the meaning of Verifyable. Verifyable means independently verifyable by scholarly sources and not wild speculation on behalf of one author. Until you can cite a scholarly source that says Veritical finger bones equate to live burials, your source is not reliable. Marburg72 (talk) 13:53, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
It's a scholarly book. Written by "Melvin Fowler, the "dean" of Cahokia archaeologists, and Biloine Whiting Young" and published by the University of Illinois Press. That's all that is necessary. On your talk page you call it fringe, which is really pretty funny. Doug Weller (talk) 14:03, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
Your "Scholarly" book has not been referenced in any scholarly journal and is entirely about petty arguments and opinions. If its not fringe, it falls into wp:soap category.Marburg72 (talk) 14:11, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
Taken to [3]. 2 scholarly reviews plus another mention in an article in American Antiquity. "Plazas as Architecture: An Example from the Raffman Site, Northeast Louisiana by Tristram R. Kidder". Your comments on the book are ill-founded and potentially libel. Doug Weller (talk) 14:54, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
You tell me where Libel Took Place. See WP:LibelMarburg72 (talk) 16:08, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
You have called a reputable author (Young) fringe and implicitly suggested that Fowler allowed fringe comments he didn't believe in in his book. There also seems to be a suggestion the authors are racist. Doug Weller (talk) 16:37, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
For the hundredth time, what is reputable about Youngs Claim that vertical fingerbones are evidence of "buried alive". Cite another scholarly source that says that. Marburg72 (talk) 17:14, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

Burden of evidence Policy shortcuts: WP:BURDEN WP:PROVEIT For how to write citations, see Wikipedia:Citing sources The burden of evidence lies with the editor who adds or restores material. All quotations and any material challenged or likely to be challenged should be attributed to a reliable, published source using an inline citation.[1] The source should be cited clearly and precisely to enable readers to find the text that supports the article content in question. It is not necessary that the source be findable instantly by any reader, merely that it be demonstrably findable (for instance, by library or archive request). If a reliable source is not readily available (e.g., freely accessible online), the editor inserting or restoring the challenged material should be able to provide page numbers and/or direct quotes from the original text supporting the material, upon request. Direct quotes may be posted on the article's talk page for evaluation—they need not be added to the article.

If no reliable, third-party sources can be found for an article topic, Wikipedia should not have an article on it.

Any material lacking a reliable source may be removed, but editors may object if you remove material without giving them sufficient time to provide references. If you want to request a source for an unsourced statement, consider tagging a sentence by adding the [citation needed] template, a section with

, or the article with


. Alternatively, you may move material lacking a reliable source to the talk page. Use the edit summary to give an explanation of your edit. You may also leave a note on the talk page or an invisible HTML comment on the article page.[2]

Do not leave unsourced or poorly sourced information that may damage the reputation of living persons or organizations in articles (See Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons for details of this policy). As Jimmy Wales has put it:

I can NOT emphasize this enough. There seems to be a terrible bias among some editors that some sort of random speculative 'I heard it somewhere' pseudo information is to be tagged with a 'needs a cite' tag. Wrong. It should be removed, aggressively, unless it can be sourced. This is true of all information, but it is particularly true of negative information about living persons.

–Jimmy Wales [3]

Once again, This article needs additional citations for verification.Marburg72 (talk) 16:41, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
It may well need additional citations to verify parts of the article that have no references to reliable sources. For instance, the statement "this burial clearly has powerful iconographic significance." could use a citation.
That has nothing to do with the quote I added, which I repeat is not by Young but from a book by Young and Fowler, and it is misleading to say it is by Young.
The quote is accompanied by an inline citation, it is from a reliable source (university press, favorable review in academic journals) and that is all that is required. There is no point in repeating what policies and guidelines state because they have been met by my edit. What is definitely not required are sources verifying sources (and then presumably yet another source and so on?). The book is a reliable source by Wikipedia standards. Doug Weller (talk) 17:36, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
Once again I strongly challenge your source because Fowler did not state anything like "buried alive" in his scholarly book about Mound 72. Youngs source includes opinion and unverified references and is not a scholarly source, especially with regards to Youngs unreferenced claim that the burials were attempting to dig themselves out, which Young clearly was speculating on. You are apparently dead set on including her speculation in this encyclopedia when it is unsupported by any other materials or information? You need to do more research text contravening BLP removed. Marburg72 (talk) 18:00, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

Now you are calling Young a liar (although you don't know who wrote the quote). And by implication her co-author Fowler. There is no Young's source (well, in a sense there is, that would be Fowler). You have no knowledge of who wrote that sentence (clearly, since you didn't know that 'Mike' was Fowler). Here is what Fowler says in the introduction: "My role in this production has been to be meticulously interviewed by Billie, to edit and amend her transcriptions and interpretations, and to write sections of the text that were in turn carefully scrutinized and revised by her in her diligent and unrelenting search for clarity of thought and expression." You have said the book has not been referenced in any scholarly journals, which is patently untrue. You have also said it is "entirely about petty arguments and opinions" which is false and possibly libel. You have also said Young is fringe, false and probably libel and an indirect attack on Fowler. That's pretty bad. Doug Weller (talk) 18:15, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

That is your opinion, which is based entirely on your own personal bias. Your reasoning does not meet the scientific method and clearly your accusation of libel and "pretty bad" are meaningless. Get educated on the scientific method. You should look into Doug Wellers website about fringe ideas that clearly states "Leave Your Common Sense Behind" located here:

The Fringe Ideals that you are supporting through allowing Doug Weller to post his pet theories on the wikiepdia page do little credit for this site. Racist attitudes should not be permitted, text contravening BLP removed. Marburg72 (talk) 15:56, 7 June 2008 (UTC)

Dougs effort to spread this idea was brought over to the Walam Olum page: You again forgot that Melvin Fowler wrote Melvin L. Fowler, Jerome Rose, Barbara Vander Leest, Steven R. Ahler. "The Mound 72 Area: Dedicated and Sacred Space in Early Cahokia." (1999) - which states nothing of Young's speculation that veritcal finger bones found in Mound 72 were "buried alive" evidence. As discussed on the Cahokia talk page, Racist attitudes should be considered when discussing human burials and making such claims about them. Why is this sensationalist suggestion so appealing to you? Marburg72 (talk) 23:31, 22 June 2008 (UTC)
The book is not by Young, it is by Young and Fowler, and Marburg72 seems to be suggesting both that he knows that it was Young and not Fowler who wrote the passage that offends him, or that Young wrote it and for some reason Fowler didn't correct it. There is nothing racist at all about this, every major ethnic group has committed similar acts and worse, including in Europe in the last few decades. The real racist ideas about Native American history are those perpetrated by people like Barry Fowl and Gloria Farley. Doug Weller (talk) 08:05, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
Agreed. Young and Fowler are the coauthors so both take responsibility for the book. It is unquestionably a reliable academic source. The authors are fully entitled to speculate, as archaeologists do, about the interpretation of finds. Itsmejudith (talk) 16:43, 23 June 2008 (UTC)

If Marburg72 can find reputable sources that challenge Young & Fowler's ideas, or attempt to demonstrate that they are racist, then he can by all means add them to the article for balance. Otherwise there is no point to continuing this discussion, and I suggest we end it. It takes two to argue, and no-one is required to participate. kwami (talk) 07:42, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

at no point did Marburg72 make a claim that the said authors are racist.

Recently, an editor on the Cahokia has made inappropriate edits and comments about my concerns with recently added information. The editor (Doug) added a comment about ancient native American burials and the vertical finger bones as being evidence of buried alive in Mound 72. My concern is that this claim is stated as a speculation in Young's book and is not supported by any data in the Mound 72 study by Fowler of the archaeological remains in the Burial mound. My discussion on the talk pages stated that without supporting evidence in Mound 72 book, the suggestion of Young is unsupported evidence that falls into sensationalism, misinformation, speculation, and even racial bias. CJLL is making the accusation that my comments are attempting to call the author a racist, however, this could not be farther from the truth. I have not ever stated anything of that sort. These claims are entirely CJLL and Dougs misinterpretation of the topic. Hopefully this clears up the issue entirely. (talk) 14:48, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

Ok, saying something someone wrote "falls into sensationalism, misinformation, speculation, and even racial bias." certainly looks as though it is accusing someone of racism. But you've got the wrong someone. The person who said that is the person who actually dug those bodies up, Professor Jerome Rose. And he says it regularly in his lectures on Cahokia. Doug Weller (talk) 15:02, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

The source of the quote about the vertical fingers and being buried alive - the excavator Professor Jerome Rose

It was Professor Jerome Rose, Chair of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Arkansas, excavator at Cahokia and one of the authors of the book on Mound 72, who is actually the source of the quote. He has told me that he was the supervisor of the skeletal excavations and that he talks about the fingers as evidence the bodies were buried alive in every lecture he gives on Cahokia. He also says that the book by Young and Fowler covers many issues that were presented at professional meetings and in conversations but not published elsewhere. Doug Weller (talk) 16:57, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

Just a bit more on the fingers. Basically, the vertical phalanges were dug into the underlying sand lining to this pit, and that their hands were in a position to indicate up and down movement of the arms (of the few prone individuals). Fowler et all indicated that some individuals were despatched with a club at the end of the pit, and it seems very possible that not everyone treated this way died immediately. Doug Weller (talk) 18:12, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
The quote you removed again is not cited in the Mound 72 book. Please do not remove this fact again. Your conversations with Rose are not citable materialMarburg72 (talk) 14:13, 26 June 2008 (UTC)
I didn't remove a quote. I removed a non-sequitor, since the fact that it isn't in a particular book but is in a different book is irrelevant, not everything went into the Mound72 book. You are trying to make it appear as though it isn't true that Jerry Rose considers that the position of the fingers suggests that the victims weren't dead when they were put into the pit. Doug Weller (talk) 14:18, 26 June 2008 (UTC)
The fact that Young's book states the opinion and the Mound 72 book includes Rose as an author- and no mention of it was made in the Mound 72 book does not show that the statement came from Rose- nor did Rose consider it imporatant enough to publish in the Mound 72 book. Let it go. Marburg72 (talk) 14:23, 26 June 2008 (UTC)
What is a fact is that the book was by Young and Fowler, and included a number of things which, to quote Rose, were "sadly never published by myself and fowler". Please stop trying to suggest that the book is some sort of made up thing by Young. The statement came from Young, if anyone doesn't believe me I'm sure he'll confirm it, or any of his students who attend his Cahokia lectures. Doug Weller (talk) 14:33, 26 June 2008 (UTC)
A statement that you say is from a lecture is not a reliable source.Marburg72 (talk) 14:40, 26 June 2008 (UTC)
I agree. I'm not claiming that it is and I have no intention of adding Jerry Rose as the source to the article. I try to be careful about making sure I only use reliable sources, and stay away from unreliable sources such as anonymous articles on sites, personal websites, etc and wish you would also. Doug Weller (talk) 14:55, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

New palisade

The news tonight had segment on the discovery of a new palisade by archaeologists at the site. I realized something must first be published, but people may want watch for this. They interviewed an intern from SIUE, so maybe the whole dig is affiliated with a professor there.--BirgitteSB 02:34, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

As I understand it, this is not a whole new palisade, but the elusive last section of a palisade that has been investigated over a number of years. Still, it'll be interesting to see the whole thing on a plan. David Trochos (talk) 12:38, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
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