Our research seeks to understand how the Cahokia that we can still see today came to be, some nine centuries ago, and how it changed the known human and nonhuman world of the Mississippi valley centuries ago. Four projects make up our collaborative effort: the Emerald Acropolis Project, the Cahokia Initiative, the Richland Analysis Project, and the Mississippian Initiative. All are pieces of a larger puzzle of the rise and fall of greater Cahokia, its ancestral settlements, religious shrines, related support colonies, and later towns of descendants, often called the “Mississippians” by archaeologists, that dot the lower Ohio and Mississippi River valleys.