Book Details

It Was Supposed to Be an Ordinary Dig.

It Could End Up Changing History.

Something’s turned up at a road construction site in Alton, Illinois. A pair of skeletal remains is causing a sensation in the local papers, and it falls on archaeologists Daniel and Lauren French to determine whether the project can go forward. But when further study turns up dozens of graves, each containing female remains, an ordinary dig turns into a major archaeological expedition. Then things really start to get weird.

An underground student-anarchist cell is determined to stick a monkey wrench in the operation by using stolen artifacts as weapons to halt progress. Local Native Americans charge the researchers are desecrating a burial site. And two students hatch a maniacal plot to ruin the Archeology Department’s reputation with a charge that could ruin one researcher’s career forever.

Now, Daniel and Lauren are faced with failure just as they’re on the cusp of an incredible discovery that would change our archeological knowledge forever. Who were these women, and what do they tell us about ancient beliefs, culture, and even migration patterns? The answers might be too incredible to believe...

Spanning the continents and the ages, Witches of Cahokia is a thought-provoking novel that will keep you guessing right up to the shocking conclusion.


Book Excerpt

Introductions complete, Lauren asked about the artifacts. Cavanaugh pointed to a small trailer, set off to the side of the construction zone. “Gathered them up and placed them in there. It’s just a few Indian arrow heads, small decorative pieces, and bowl shards. Probably not enough to make this a protected site.”

“Lauren, why don’t you take the first look? Your eye is better than mine in categorizing isolated artifacts. I’ll watch after the kids.” Daniel turned, “John, is it alright for the kids and me to walk around the site and look at the heavy equipment? Promise, we won’t touch.”

Nodding his agreement, Cavanaugh pointed to a stack of yellow helmets on a side table “Be sure to use those. I think we have a couple of smalls?” Stepping to the trailer, he opened the door. Lauren preceded him up the metal steps and entered the small room. In the center of the area was a round table, with papers and drawings strewn across the top, and a crook-neck lamp. A small section at one end was cleared for about twenty artifacts. Lauren pulled up a chair, adjusted the light, and began to examine each item.

Even with a cursory examination, Lauren could tell that the objects were common pieces, much like artifacts any farmer in the area might find after spring plowing. The bowl shards had the distinctive incising and stamping marks commonly used for decoration during the Middle Woodland Period when trading villages were spread over much of the Midwest. She fingered a small mica object. It was hard to tell exactly what it had been, but the mineral itself added to the probability that this was from an early trading group since mica was not found in this area. The artifact had probably come from the Appalachian Mountains region.

She turned to Cavanaugh. “I wouldn’t bet my degree on it, but this seems pretty common. I wouldn’t expect this to delay your construction. I need to have Daniel look at it though, because the forms take two signatures.”

Cavanaugh smiled and blew air from between his lips in relief; he hadn’t relished the idea of delaying construction for an extended archeology dig. Had it been his decision, he would have just looked the other way as his men reburied the stuff. However, he’d been in the business too long to believe in secrets, once you found artifacts, it was best to report them and get the official clearance.

“Well, I appreciate this,” he said.

The door banged open, and Daniel with kids in tow came into the trailer. “You will not believe this. We found a skeleton, or at least Cassie did.”

Cavanaugh’s face lost its smile.


About the Author

Raymond Scott Edge

Dr. Raymond Scott Edge is the author of several textbooks on health-care ethics and law. Since his retirement from university teaching and administration he has pursued his passion for regional history and culture. Witches of Cahokia is the second book of a fiction series based on actual Mississippi River archaeological sites and artifacts.

Edge currently resides with his wife Marilyn, family, llamas, hair sheep, and other gentle creatures in Montgomery City, Missouri.

Also by Raymond Scott Edge

Flight of the Piasa
S: Memoir of an Iconic Gentleman


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