On the outskirts of East St. Louis, Illinois lies a mysterious, almost forgotten city, now called Cahokia. 1000 years ago, 20,000 people lived here - more than in London at that time. From atop earthen mounds, Cahokia’s rulers oversaw the building of a highly advanced civilization. And practiced human sacrifice.
Sacrificial Man tells a story about the meeting of two societies separated by time.
In the spring of 1956, during the period known as the McCarthy Era, Cahokia's mounds are threatened with destruction by the incoming interstate highways. Spencer Horton, a controversial archaeologist, is uncovering shocking evidence in his excavations there. As he fights to understand and to preserve the historic site, his motives become suspect.
Horton's crew includes Columbia University graduate student Susannah Aaron, whose marriage is undergoing its own crisis. She and her husband Abe, a famed New York playwright, arrive at Cahokia mounds just when disturbing events begin to occur...
When I visited Cahokia some years ago, I could not understand why every school child, including me, didn't know of this extraordinary place - America's first city.
Here are some images that inspired my story, which I am now adapting as a play! I hope you will be intrigued by them as I was!
East St. Louis - a troubled city