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Winter Lecture Series Opens Jan. 28 at Cahokia Mounds

The first of the Winter Lecture Series programs will open at Cahokia Mounds State Historic on Sunday, January 28, at 2:00 p.m. with a presentation by Dr. Mark Wagner, “Bound to the Western Waters: Searching for Lewis and Clark at Fort Kaskaskia, Illinois.” The lecture is free and open to the public.

Fort Kaskaskia State Historic Site in Randolph Co. includes the earthen remains of the 1750s French fort that has long been believed to have been the site of a later American fort of the same name from which Lewis and Clark recruited 12 soldiers for their expedition to explore the American west in 1803. SIU Carbondale archaeological field school investigations at Fort Kaskaskia in 2017 revealed that it indeed is a 1750s French fort, but found no evidence that it had ever been visited by Lewis and Clark.  Instead, the remains of the American Fort Kaskaskia (1802-1807) were found on a separate hilltop, 300 meters to the north. In this talk, Dr. Wagner will discuss the history and archaeology of the two forts and plans for additional field school investigations at both sites in 2018.

Mark Wagner is the Director of the Center for Archaeological Investigations (CAI) and an Associate Professor of Anthropology at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site is just eight miles from downtown St. Louis, in Collinsville, Illinois, off Interstates 55/70 (Exit 6) and I-255 (Exit 24), on Collinsville Road. The Interpretive Center is open Wednesday through Sunday from 9 am to 5 pm. There is no admission fee but a suggested donation of $7 for adults, $5 seniors, $2 students, and $15 families. For more information or a calendar of events, call 618-346-5160 or go to the website at