January 15, 2015

On July 24, 2014, thirteen miles east of Cahokia Mounds near Lebanon, Illinois, in the uplands near Silver Creek’s Looking Glass Prairie, an archaeology team made an astounding discovery: a human footprint. Radiocarbon dating indicated the print was 1,000 years old, part of the Mississippian era, the same as Cahokia Mounds. Rain-washed silt had filled in the footprint and preserved it.

From the strata of soil in which it was discovered, we know that the person was standing at what is now called the Emerald Acropolis, after it had been abandoned. A great civilization had dispersed.

Emerald was not a suburb of Cahokia. Excavations have revealed platform mounds (raised and flattened earthen rectangles signifying ceremony or possible housing sites for “important people”). Indicators of domestic housing have not been found, but evidence for ceremonial structures (architecture) is in abundance.

Hearths filled with animals bones indicate that great feasts were held there. Pottery shard evidence (art) indicates Missouri, Illinois and Indiana styles, suggesting that the Emerald Acropolis was an important destination for pilgrims. A large plaza, surrounded by shrines and sweat lodges, has been unearthed. And a trail can be seen, using ground penetrating radar, the western segment leading straight to the great city of Cahokia, and the eastern leg extending as the crow flies (geometry), to Indiana. The mystery of Cahokia Mounds becomes more and more complex.

The shrines are aligned to celestial events (astronomy), and it is thought that rituals were performed there. The Emerald Acropolis appears to have been a religious site (theology), with pilgrims traveling thousands of miles, perhaps stopping at the sacred place before walking on to the great City of the Sun, hub of agriculture and trade, in its time (though the Old World  could not have known this) one of the largest cities in the world.

The last pilgrims of Emerald may have intentionally covered their structures by fashioning trenches of rain washed silts, so that each storm would run over the site and bury it. Why?

So an Indian, in a moon shadow, stood at a ghost acropolis 1,000 years ago, that person’s foot preserved in silt. Unknown to them, across oceans and great distance Mohammed, Jesus and many others had already made their marks. The Americas were the last place of inhabitance of humans. Does that render untrue or lessen that lone Indian’s and his 78,000,000 ancestors’ (before Columbus) sense of God(s)?

The modern, fundamental followers of Mohammed and Jesus: “YES!”

I imagine that Mohammed and Jesus, by virtue of their collective wisdom would be appalled at the modern bastardization and translation butchery of their philosophies and the billion people killed in their names and, had they been able to see the future, delighted and not at all surprised re the history of the Emerald Acropolis and the City of the Sun and The Pueblo, and the empires of the Aztecs and Incas and Mayas, and, in our time the ultimate True Church: Science; and the brave, uncertain, fallible and wretchedly flawed, garlanded in native emeralds, New World.




About Eugene Jones Baldwin

I am a writer: non-fiction, fiction, journalism (Alton Telegraph), essays (The Genehouse Chronicles) and have a website: eugenebaldwin.com. I've published a couple dozen short stories and had eleven plays produced. Current projects: "Brother of the Stones" (available on Kindle), a book of short stories; "The Faithful Husband of the Rain, short stories"; "A Black Soldier's Letters Home, WWII,;" "There is No Color in Justice," a commentary on racism; "Ratkillers," a new play. I am an avocational archaeologist and I take parts of my collection of several thousand Indian artifacts (personal finds) to schools, nature centers, libraries etc. and talk about the 20,000 year history of The First people in Illinois. (See link to website) I'm also a playwright (eleven plays produced), musician, historian (authority on the Underground Railroad in Illinois, the Tuskegee Airmen) and teacher.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *