Scientists hope Captiva Island dig can unlock Calusa mysteries

On the northernmost tip of Captiva Island stands a piece of southwest Florida history that may help scientists unlock the mysteries of an ancient culture. From the road lined with high-priced homes in the secluded South Seas Plantation, a mound with several peaks built by the Calusa Indians more than 2,000 years ago looks like any other clump of mangroves and vegetation.

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Cahokia mounds reveal a vast copper workshop

Nearly 1,000 years ago, the ancient city of Cahokia flourished only 20 minutes away from modern St. Louis in the floodplains of the Mississippi River. Today, the discovery of a copper workshop by a team of researchers led by John Kelly, Washington University archeology professor, and James Brown of Northwestern University will provide insight into the lives of the mysterious Cahokians.

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Chunkey and the spread of Mississippian culture

Chunkey was one of the most popular sports in pre-European America. It was a simple game consisting of a round stone being rolled down a specially-prepared plaza while a group of men threw spears to where they believed the stone would stop. The game dates back at least a thousand years and was still being played when the first Europeans arrived.

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Ocmulgee Mounds (1000 AD)

Ocmulgee Mounds located in Macon, Geogia consists of seven mounds and associated plazas. The Great Temple Mound at Ocmulgee was built atop the Macon Plateau and rises 56 feet high from the surface of the plateau.

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