Road Scholar : Home
Cahokia Mounds: A Prehistoric City and Indian Culture

Program Number: 12934RJ
Start and End Dates:
5/18/2014 - 5/22/2014; 10/19/2014 - 10/23/2014;
Duration: 4 nights
Location: Columbia, Illinois
Price starting at: $578.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: History & Culture; Native American Studies
Meals: 12; 4 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Gluten Free; Low Fat    

More than 1,000 years ago, a complex society of 20,000 tribe peoples inhabited a region that spanned across the American Bottom floodplain. Join a professional archaeologist for an exploration of the sudden and mysterious decline of the Mississippians and learn about the importance of the Cahokia Mounds as a UNESCO World Heritage Site — one of only 21 in the United States. Consider how natural materials were used to produce items of artistic merit and practical usage as you meet craftspeople who have learned to replicate the techniques for quill work, beading, weaving, dying, and flint chipping.




Highlights

• Learn the history of Cahokia Mounds with Bill Iseminger, a renowned archaeologist and expert on the site.
• Take in an evening presentation on flint knapping and fire starting with a historian.
• Discuss how native plants and trees were utilized for food and medicines.



Activity Particulars

Some walking on mostly flat terrain.




Date Specific Information

5-18-2014

Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



Coordinated by Toddhall Retreat and Conference Center.




Columbia (Illinois)

Columbia, located on bluffs above the Mississippi River in southern Illinois, was once an attractive stopping-off point for pioneers, as well as the German and French immigrants who settled the area. The nearby Cahokia Mounds is a World Heritage Site originally home to a complex society of 20,000 American Indians between A.D. 900 and 1150.



Accommodations
Conference center, all ground-floor rooms. Rooms do not have maid service and are not equipped with TV or telephones.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
John Kelly

Dr. John Kelly has been involved in Cahokia archaeology since 1969. He received his B.A from Beloit College in 1969, and his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1980. His dissertation was based on work done on the Merrell Tract at Cahokia Mounds. Dr. Kelly has completed many projects in southwestern Illinois over the years, and is presently a senior lecturer in archaeology with the Department of Anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis. He conducts archaeological field schools at Cahokia Mounds.
 
Larry Kinsella

Larry Kinsella has been an advocational archeologist for over 25 years, and has presented primitive technology and experimental archeology to all ages through fun and educational programs. Larry led workshops and lectures at Dickson Mounds, Cahokia Mounds, and numerous Midwestern museums. His work has also been featured on the Discovery Channel documentary, “What Killed the Mega Beasts?” Larry will take participants back to when fire starting was an art and flint knapping a way of life.
 
Bill Iseminger

Bill Iseminger has been with Cahokia Mounds since 1971, where he has conducted site excavations and directed archaeological field schools to include annual Earth Watch volunteers. He has appeared in a number of television programs over the years, including productions on the Discovery Channel, BBC, and the History Channel. Among his many duties at the Mounds, Bill handles public relations and exhibit coordination. His ability to share his enthusiasm and knowledge of the Cahokia Mounds has led previous participants to comment that his presentations are “one of the best programs ever attended.”
 
Marilyn Kinsella

Marilyn Kinsella has been spinning words into elaborate stories since 1981, sharing folk tales, literary stories and personal narratives at schools and festivals around the Midwest. She is the president of Riverwind Storytellers Co., and has been featured at events including the St. Louis Arch Festival and Illinois Storytelling Festival. Marilyn offers storytelling workshops to children and adults. She shares an interest in the Cahokia Mounds with her husband, who is an archeologist.
 
"Cricket" Lucretia Kelly

“Cricket” Lucretia Kelly received her undergraduate degree in anthropology from Beloit College in Wis., and her M.A. and Ph.D. from Washington University in St. Louis, Mo. She specializes in the study of animal remains from archaeological sites, or zoo archaeology, and is an independent zoo archaeological contractor, performing faunal analyses for archaeologists throughout the Midwest. Cricket is a lecturer and research associate at Washington University, and an adjunct professor at University of Missouri in St. Louis.
 
Susan Ream Wilson

Susan Ream Wilson is a professional finger weaver and spinner whose interest in Native American crafts and cultures led her to begin volunteering at Cahokia Mounds 18 years ago. Specializing in sashes woven of handspun yarn, Susan’s work has won numerous awards, and her designs are known for their innovation.
 
Meals and Lodgings
   Toddhall Retreat and Conference Center
  Columbia, IL 5 nights
 Toddhall Retreat and Conference Center
Type: Conference Center
  Description: Located on 45 acres, Toddhall is a people and wildlife sanctuary where the integrity of each of God's creatures is respected.
  Contact info: 320 Todd Center Drive
Columbia, IL 62236-0941 USA
phone: 618-281-8180
web: www.toddhallrc.org
  Room amenities: 2 twin beds, private bath, individual heater/AC control
  Facility amenities: On-site chapel, walking trails, labyrinth.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Additional nights prior: $60/ Single; $72/ Double Subject to Availability - Call 618 2818180
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: $60/ Single; $72/ Double Subject to Availability - Call 618 2818180
  Check out time: 11:30 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
3:00 PM untill dinner time 5:30 PM You will be staying at Toddhall Retreat and Conference Center that night.
  End of Program:
11:30 PM - Box lunch provided You will be staying at Toddhall Retreat and Conference Center the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. Valid photo ID such as driver's license or passport.
  Parking availability:
Ample free parking at conference center.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Columbia, IL
  Nearest city or town:  Columbia
  Nearest highway: Hwy 3
  Nearest airport:  Lambert-St. Louis International Airport (STL)
  From End of Program
  Location: Columbia, IL
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

St. Louis

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Excel Transportation
phone: 314-741-6550
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$62
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

40 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

35 miles

   

$62 for 1 or 2 people, $66 for 3, $72 for 4, call Excel Transportation 314 741-6550 or 618 251-9410. Take I-70 east to I-64 east across Mississippi river to I-255 south. Take I-255 to Exit 6 (left lane exit) south on IL Hwy 3 for 4.5 miles. Take the exit for Highway 158 then drive about ½ mile turning left on Todd Center Dr. (Note: There is a blue Toddhall Center sign and a larger Toddhall sign at Todd Center Drive.) Then stay to left following signs along tree covered drive to Toddhall.

 
Driving Directions
  AIRPORT Lambert-St. Louis International Shuttle available: $62 for 1 or 2 people, $66 for 3, $72 for 4, call Excel Transportation 314 741-6550 or 618 251-9410. Airport is approximately 35 miles and plan an hour for travel. Take I-70 east to I-64 east across the Mississippi river to I-255 south. Take I-255 to Exit 6 (a left lane exit) south on IL Highway 3 for 4.5 miles. Take the exit for Highway 158 then drive about ½ mile turning left on Todd Center Dr. (Note: There is a blue Toddhall Center sign and a larger Toddhall sign at Todd Center Drive.) Then stay to left following signs along tree covered drive to Toddhall.
  EAST (Louisville, KY) Follow I-64 West to I-255 South. Take I-255 to Exit 6 (a left lane exit) south on IL Highway 3 for 4.5 miles. Take the exit for Highway 158 then drive about ½ mile turning left on Todd Center Dr. (Note: There is a blue Toddhall Center sign and a larger Toddhall sign at Todd Center Drive.) Then stay to left following signs along tree covered drive to Toddhall.
  NORTH (Northern Illinois) Take I-55 south to I-255 south towards Memphis Take I-255 to Exit 6 (a left lane exit) south on IL Highway 3 for 4.5 miles. Take the exit for Highway 158 then drive about ½ mile turning left on Todd Center Dr. (Note: There is a blue Toddhall Center sign and a larger Toddhall sign at Todd Center Drive.) Then stay to left following signs along tree covered drive to Toddhall.
  NORTH (Northern MO/St. Louis) If traveling South on I-255 or East on I-64 then South on I-255, take I-255 to Exit 6 (a left lane exit) south on IL Highway 3 for 4.5 miles. Take the exit for Highway 158 then drive about ½ mile turning left on Todd Center Dr. (Note: There is a blue Toddhall Center sign and a larger Toddhall sign at Todd Center Drive.) Then stay to left following signs along tree covered drive to Toddhall.
  NORTH EAST (Indianapolis, IN) Take I-70 West to I-55 South to I-255 South towards Memphis, Take I-255 to Exit 6 (a left lane exit) south on IL Highway 3 for 4.5 miles. Take the exit for Highway 158 then drive about ½ mile turning left on Todd Center Dr. (Note: There is a blue Toddhall Center sign and a larger Toddhall sign at Todd Center Drive.) Then stay to left following signs along tree covered drive to Toddhall.
  SOUTH (Memphis, TN and Southern Mo/St Louis) Take I-55 North to I-270 South. Take I-270 south, (I-270 changes to I-255), continue on I-255 south into Illinois for a small distance to (Exit 6) IL State Highway 3 South. Continue on South IL Highway 3 for 4.5 miles. Take the exit for Highway 158 then drive about ½ mile turning left on Todd Center Dr. (Note: There is a blue Toddhall Center sign and a larger Toddhall sign at Todd Center Drive.) Then stay to left following signs along tree covered drive to Toddhall.
  SOUTH (Southern Illinois) Take IL State Highway 3 North to Highway 158. Take the exit for Highway 158 then drive about ½ mile turning left on Todd Center Dr. (Note: There is a blue Toddhall Center sign and a larger Toddhall sign at Todd Center Drive.) Then stay to left following signs along tree covered drive to Toddhall.
  WEST (Kansas City, KS and Western MO/St Louis) Take I-70 East to I-270 South. Then I-270 south, (I-270 changes to I-255), continue on I-255 south into Illinois for a small distance to (Exit 6) IL State Highway 3 South. Continue on South IL Highway 3 for 4.5 miles. Take the exit for Highway 158 then drive about ½ mile turning left on Todd Center Dr. (Note: There is a blue Toddhall Center sign and a larger Toddhall sign at Todd Center Drive.) Then stay to left following signs along tree covered drive to Toddhall.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Arrival/Orientation
(Sunday, May 18)
   
 Afternoon: Plan to arrive at conference center 3:00-5:00 PM.
 Dinner: 5:30 pm in the conference center dining room.
 Evening: 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm. Introductions, overview of program, and orientation to the grounds of Toddhall.
   
Accommodations: Toddhall Retreat and Conference Center
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Cahokia Mounds- What have we learned with instruction from "Mr Mounds" Bill Iseminger, the renowned archaeologist and Discovery Channel expert of Cahokia.
(Monday, May 19)

Note: Discussion on Prehistoric Indians of Southern Illinois. After dinner: "Bones tell the story"



   
 Breakfast: 8:00 am in the conference center dining room.
 Morning: Home to possibly 20,000 native pre-historic Americans, the secrets of Cahokia are becoming more and more apparent. Bill Iseminger narrates the Cahokia Mounds program and presents most of the classes. His involvement with Cahokia dates back to 1971. His ability to convey information in an interesting fashion has led virtually all previous Participants to comment on his professional presentation as excellent with an inspiration to learn more.
 Lunch: 11:30 am in the conference center dining room.
 Afternoon: Fabric of Mississippi Culture: Learn of the rich textile heritage and skillful use of natural materials including quill work, beading, weaving and dying from professional Finger weaver and Spinner; Enjoy hands-on opportunity!
 Dinner: 5:30 pm in the conference center dining room.
 Evening: 6:30 pm Storytelling - Marilyn Kinsella
   
Accommodations: Toddhall Retreat and Conference Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Morning instruction from "Mr Mounds" on Monks Mound, the Stockade, and Woodhenge followed with lunch then a bus excursion to Cahokia Mounds. Orientation movie in the Interpretive Center.
(Tuesday, May 20)

Note: Flintknapping and Fire Starting - highly rated evening event.



   
 Breakfast: 8:00 am in the conference center dining room.
 Morning: More Cahokia from Bill Iseminger, Public Relations and exhibit coordinator of Cahokia Mounds who has appeared in numerous television programs to include Discovery Channel, BBC, and History Channel.
 Lunch: 11:30 in the conference center dining room.
 Afternoon: 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm Cahokia mounds. Orientation movie at the Interpretive Center and self-guided tour of the Interpretive Center.
 Dinner: 5:30 in the conference center dining room.
 Evening: 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm. Evening flintknapping program presented by Larry Kinsella.
   
Accommodations: Toddhall Retreat and Conference Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Day long excursion back to the United Nations sanctioned Cahokia grounds and museum with Dr. John Kelly, Senior Lecturer with the Dept. of Anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis. He has been involved with Cahokia Mounds archeology since 1969.
(Wednesday, May 21)

Note: Drive-by tour narrated by Dr. Kelly of several locations where mound-builders lived in areas around the Cahokia Mounds. Sandwich lunch at the Mounds.



   
 Breakfast: 8:00 am in the conference center dining room.
 Morning: Cahokia Mounds classroom with Dr John Kelly. Walk to the top of Monks Mound and spend time on the grounds of Cahokia Mounds and the Interpretive Center, visit Woodhenge
 Lunch: Catered sandwiches delivered to Cahokia Mounds.
 Afternoon: Classroom continues with Dr Kelly. 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm self-guided tours of museum/grounds of Cahokia
 Dinner: 5:30 in the conference center dining room.
 Evening: Evening free time, games will be available.
   
Accommodations: Toddhall Retreat and Conference Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Cahokia experience expanded, culminating with potential answers on disappearance of such a vibrant culture. Departure
(Thursday, May 22)

Note: Hands-on artifacts and discussion about Mound 72.



   
 Breakfast: 8:00 am in the conference center dining room.
 Morning: 9:15 - 11:00 am presentation on what may have happened to such a vibrant culture with summation.
 Lunch: 1130 am checkout. BOX LUNCH under refrigeration available in conference dining room from 10am till checkout.
   
Accommodations: Toddhall Retreat and Conference Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


Cahokia Mounds: America's First City


Author: Bill Iseminger


Description: 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.





You can't find a better value than Road Scholar.


As a not-for-profit organization, we are dedicated to providing all-inclusive educational programs at great value. From lectures to gratuities to field trips to accommodations - the tuition you pay up front is all that you pay.



Specifically, this program includes:

Plus these special experiences...

View the Daily Schedule to see more

And included with all Road Scholar programs:


© Road Scholar 2014 | Call toll-free: 1-800-454-5768