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Hidden Cities; The Discovery and Loss of Ancient North American Civilization

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Few realize that some of the oldest, largest, and most complex structures of ancient archaeology were built of earth, clay, and stone right here in America, in the Ohio and Mississippi valleys. From 6,000 years ago until quite recently, North America was home to some of the most highly advanced and well organized civilizations in the world - complete with cities, roads, and commerce. From the lost city of Balbantsha, near New Orleans, to the Great Hopewell Road, a causeway for religious pilgrims along the Ohio ...
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Overview

Few realize that some of the oldest, largest, and most complex structures of ancient archaeology were built of earth, clay, and stone right here in America, in the Ohio and Mississippi valleys. From 6,000 years ago until quite recently, North America was home to some of the most highly advanced and well organized civilizations in the world - complete with cities, roads, and commerce. From the lost city of Balbantsha, near New Orleans, to the Great Hopewell Road, a causeway for religious pilgrims along the Ohio River in the thirteenth century, these cultures built hundreds of thousands of structures, of which a small but tantalizing portion still remain. Like the Druids of Salisbury Plain, they patterned extraordinarily precise geometry according to the rising and setting of the moon. Like the ancient Egyptians, they organized millions of hours of human labor to construct pyramids, platforms, and plazas. In Hidden Cities, Roger G. Kennedy sets out on a bold quest of recovery - a recovery of the rich heritage of the North American peoples, and a reimagination of the true relations of their modern-day successors and neighbors. From the Spanish and French explorers to the present, very few Euro-Americans have paid attention to the evidence and meaning of this heritage. Building on recent work of many archaeologists and historians, Roger Kennedy presents a fascinating picture of these American antiquities as well as their reception among leading citizens of the young United States. On missions of exploration, politics, and even piracy, men such as George Rogers Clark, George Washington, Albert Gallatin, and Thomas Jefferson frequently chanced upon the architecture of the past. As Kennedy shows us the magnificence of the mound-building cultures through the sometimes-prejudiced eyes of the Founding generation, he reveals not only the astounding history of our continent, but also the reasons why we have refused to credit Native American predecessors with the greatness

An account of the little-known accomplishments of the Mississippi Valley's Native American peoples. The host of the popular TV series Roger Kennedy's Rediscovering America holds a mirror to our distant and recent ancestors, aswell as to our deeply ingrained misconceptions about our own continent's past. 8-page insert; 1 map; index.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Kennedy, an architectural historian and director of the National Park Service, examines how certain of the Founding Fathers-particularly Washington, Jefferson, and Secretary of the Treasury Albert Gallatin-set out to create a nation free from the prejudices and superstitions of Europe and how they became aware that they missed a great opportunity in the West. He uses their reactions to the mound architecture of the Ohio and Mississippi valleys as the filter for their views on the status of Native Americans and blacks. He also reviews the rationales others used in explaining away the mounds and considers why the mounds were built in the first place. Solidly grounded in archaeological and historical sources, this book requires some effort on the part of the reader to follow Kennedy's argument; it will be most useful to those already well versed in early American history and archaeology. Recom-mended for specialists.-Stephen H. Peters, Northern Michigan Univ. Lib., Marquette
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140255270
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 11/1/1996
  • Pages: 392
  • Product dimensions: 5.54 (w) x 7.74 (h) x 0.74 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: Coming Over and Into the Valley 1
1 The Founders of American Architecture; The Cultures that Nourished Them, and the Great Dying 7
2 Albert Gallatin and the Possibility of Understanding 23
3 Bloody Years Amid the Ruins 40
4 The Gallatinians: Thomas Worthington and Adena 70
5 George Washington: His Land, Its Inhabitants, and the Cincinnatian Solution 82
6 The Cincinnati 108
7 Thomas Jefferson and the Persistence of Prejudice 125
8 Jefferson's Archaeologists: Part One 152
9 Jefferson's Archaeologists: Part Two 190
10 Evangelism and Amnesia: Explaining Away the Mounds 218
11 Why Were the Mounds Built? 243
Appendix A. Thomas Jefferson and Nicholas Biddle 289
Appendix B. William Dunbar on the Wonders of Arkansas 292
Appendix C. Mr. Brackenridge Speaks for Himself 295
Notes 299
Bibliography 337
Acknowledgments 355
Index 357
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