On Sunday, February 3, archaeologist Bill Iseminger will kick off the 2019 Madison County Historical Society’s Speakers Series with a lecture on the Ramey Tablet and other Mississippian-style tablets. The program will begin at 2 p.m. in the fellowship hall of Immanuel United Methodist Church at 800 N. Main St. in Edwardsville.
The premier example of Mississippian engraved stone tablets is the Cahokia Birdman Tablet, but there are a number of others, whole or fragmented, that display similar form and style or are unique in their own right, which have been found throughout the region. This includes the famous Ramey Tablet, curated by the Madison County Historical Society. Some have graphics on one side and cross-hatching on the reverse, while others often have cross-hatching on one or both sides or some other combination or treatment. This presentation will compare and contrast over 20 examples of known tablets and tablet fragments associated with the Mississippian Culture.
The presenter, Bill Iseminger, is an archaeologist who has worked at Cahokia Mounds for almost 48 years and currently is assistant manager of the site. He received his BA in anthropology from the University of Oklahoma and his MA from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. While in college, he was involved in excavations in South Dakota and several locations throughout southern Illinois, and while at Cahokia he directed public field schools for many years. Today he is in charge of public relations, interpretation, exhibits, and the intern program at Cahokia Mounds. He has written extensively about Cahokia, including his 2010 book, “Cahokia Mounds, America’s First City.” More recently he wrote and illustrated “Identifying and Understanding Artifacts of Illinois and Neighboring States,” published by the Illinois Association for Advancement of Archaeology.
Programs in the MCHS Speakers Series are free and open to the public. Regular hours at the Madison County Archival Library are Wed – Fri, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Sun, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. The Madison County Historical Museum is currently closed for renovations. For additional information, call 618-656-1294.