Archaeological finds are often interpreted in popular science through the ‘lost civilization’ trope: once great metropolises and their people that mysteriously vanished in history. Although ruins suggest the abandonment of a specific location at a point in time, they do not suggest that its occupants and their culture disappeared; most often people simply moved somewhere else for a variety of reasons and their descendants and culture exist to this day in some form. By labelling a people as ‘lost’ in the past we erase or minimize their descendants and culture in the present. This talk focuses on Cahokia, one of the most frequently mentioned ‘lost civilizations’ in the world, and its post-abandonment history.
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