About one thousand years ago, a phenomenon occurred in a fertile tract of Mississippi River flood plain known today as the "American Bottom." This phenomenon came to be called Cahokia Mounds, America's first city. Interpreting the rich heritage of a site like Cahokia Mounds is a balancing act; the interpreter must speak as a scholar to the general public on behalf of an entirely different civilization. Since even those three groups are splintered into myriad dialects of perspective, sometimes it is hard to know what language to use. But William Iseminger's work at the site has given him nearly four decades of practice in Cahokia Conversation 101, and he tells the story of the place and its ancient culture (as well as its place in contemporary culture) with the clarity and confidence of a native speaker.
About the Author
William R. Iseminger was born in Bloomington, Illinois, and grew up in Arlington, Virginia. He majored in anthropology in college, receiving his BA from the University of Oklahoma and his MA from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. He participated in excavations in South Dakota and several locations in Illinois, and he has worked at the Cahokia site full time since 1971. He directed public archaeological field schools for many years and serves as assistant site manager in charge of exhibits, interpretation and public relations at Cahokia for the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency.