Susan Alt is an archaeologist working in the Midwest with an interest in the origins of Mississippian society. She has worked at and around Cahokia since 1995 and most recently has also run projects in the lower Ohio Valley, investigating how Mississippian came to southern Indiana. Her current project investigates the role of religion, pilgrims and immigrants in the creation of Cahokia and Mississippian life-ways by investigating the Emerald site, an Illinois mound center of 12 mounds that we are proving to have been a ritual center of great importance, and a place visited by ancient Indiana peoples from the Yankeetown culture.

Alt’s interests are in the intersections of diverse social processes and how they converge to create society and history in the pre-Columbian Midwest. How things like migration, religion, violence, gender roles, memory, identity, materialty and spatiality might interact, alter each other and so affect people and help direct change. She is interested in how new theoretical directions can shed light on old questions, and how a shift in perspective can open new avenues of investigation.