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  • Native American city on the Mississippi was America's first 'melting pot'

    State Archaeologist Thomas Emerson and his colleagues found that Cahokia had a sizeable population of immigrants.

    State Archaeologist Thomas Emerson and his colleagues found that Cahokia had a sizeable population of immigrants.

    Photo by L. Brian Stauffer

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      State Archaeologist Thomas Emerson and his colleagues found that Cahokia had a sizeable population of immigrants.

      Photo by L. Brian Stauffer

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      This small clay vessel was made in eastern Oklahoma but found at Cahokia. In the past it was interpreted as a trade item, but now it seems more likely it was brought by an immigrant who moved to Cahokia in the 12th century.

      Photo by L. Brian Stauffer VIEW VIDEO Cahokia Mounds was an urban center at the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers.

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  • To reach Thomas Emerson, email teee@illinois.edu. The paper, “Immigrants at the Mississippian Polity of Cahokia: Strontium Isotope Evidence for Population Movement,” is available online or from the U. of I. News Bureau.