Every semester the NKU Student Anthropology Society embarks on a trip to visit archaeological sites, museums, and explore different cities and their cultures. This semester SAS went to St. Louis to visit the Cahokia Mounds, and explore the downtown museums. SAS left NKU after all the students had finished their midterms and headed to St. Louis, where they began their journey at the City Museum.
The City Museum is essentially a giant playground for adults. It was easy to pick out the locals as they were dressed in kneepads, elbow pads, and gloves. Besides the fun playful part of the City Museum, they also have some very impressive art galleries, a Japanese exhibit, a medieval armor exhibit, and galleries for different time periods. It is an interesting experience to be able to run around and act like kids as well as actually learn at the same time.
The second day was spent going to the various museums throughout St. Louis. There was an art museum, history museum, aviation museum, and the zoo for those interested in Zoology or Primatology, and multiple botanical gardens for those interested in botany. For SAS there was a lot of interest in the zoo because they have Chimpanzees! Which was a hot spot since the Cincinnati Zoo does not currently have them.
Finally, on the last day the students woke up early to visit the arch where they learned about western expansion. Later they headed to Cahokia outside the city. Meeting with Dr. Hruby at Cahokia, he gave students a tour and answered any questions they had about the site.
It was very informative having someone who knew so much about the site who could to tell students about it as they walked through. Starting out walking through the museum, which had numerous artifacts and tools, they had a particularly neat display showing Monk's mound in comparison to various pyramids throughout the world. It was surprising how large these mounds are in comparison. They also had models of the type of shelters people were staying in at Cahokia.
Dr. Hruby was able to give students information that could not be found at the museum. One interesting thing he shared was that most archaeologists believe this site was not just one group, that it was more of cultural hub for different groups and tribes. There was an exhibit on how pottery was made at the site, which was a great note taking opportunity as SAS is planning on using this technique during their pottery night on November 3rd, 2016. Once they were done going through the museum, they explored the mounds. Most of the students were surprised by how big the mounds actually were, and impressed by the wood henge. Every one has heard about Cahokia, but students were amazed at how widespread and large the site actually was!