GODS AND GREAT CITIES: THE ORIGIN OF SUN BORN
The largest “Lost City” in the world is in the United States. It’s called Cahokia. It was a huge metroplex that lasted nearly three hundred years. Today what remains of the city is scattered throughout—and under–the sprawl of St Louis and lies on both sides of the Mississippi River.
This isn’t our first novel about Cahokia. We’ve been fascinated by this ancient city for three decades. We started writing about it in PEOPLE OF THE RIVER. And, as new research poured in, finally wrote PEOPLE OF THE MORNING STAR. Cahokia–a city that would have swallowed its eleventh century competitors, London, Paris, and Rome—is mysterious and mesmerizing. Today it consists of large mounds of earth. But these are just the foundations, as if New York City were scrapped away by a giant bulldozer. What made Cahokia into one of the largest cities in the world? What brought tens of thousands of people streaming into the central Mississippi Valley to build the magnificent mounds, causeways, and stunning five-story temples?
(Credit: Townsend mural. Cahokia Mounds)
Archaeologists suspect it was religion, specifically a messiah figure called “Morning Star.” The renown of a living god would have traveled up and down the rivers, word of his coming carried across mountains and down the trails by traders. And the people came, settling in the living god’s proximity in one of the most fertile agricultural valleys in the world.
We also suspect word might have eventually reached Mayan traders who plied the Gulf waters and sailed out into the Carribean. Which begs the question: What would the Itza Maya in Chichen Itza have made of the story of a resurrected god? Especially since it cleaves so closely to the Maya’s own stories of the resurrected heroes from the beginning times.
In SUN BORN we provide a possible answer, one compatible with the tantalizing bits and pieces in the archaeological record. With SUN BORN the story of Seven Skull Shield, Clan Keeper Blue Heron, the truculent Fire Cat, and Lady Night Shadow Star continues. But this time, the Itza lord, Thirteen Sacred Jaguar is coming, and he has a secret. One that has the power to topple Cahokia, and ruin the lives of its most beloved citizens.
Truly, Cahokia was one of the magnificent cities of the prehistoric world. We hope you enjoy this story about ancient America.