Ongoing archaeological work will be the topic of conversation at this year's Mississippian Conference at Cahokia Mounds.

The state historic site in Collinsville will host the third annual conference July 28.

"It's all really, really recent research," said Larry Kinsella, president of the Cahokia Archaeological Society. "I don't know of any other place you can get so much for that price."

Kinsella has attended past Mississippian conferences at the Mounds and other locations. He will be one of the conference-goers again this year.

The conference runs from 8 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. and costs $5.

All of the day's talks center around current work that is going on at Cahokia Mounds or other similar sites. Of those talks, three out of the 23 scheduled relate to work that has been done or is going on at the nearby Mississippian site at the base of what will be the new Mississippi River bridge between St. Louis and the Metro East. Other talks range from presentations on "Playing Detective with Mississippian Axe-Heads," to a discussion of "Culturally Modified Teeth from Illinois: Cahokia and Beyond."

While the conference usually attracts archaeologists interested in keeping current on new work, Kinsella said that interested members of the public and his own society won't want to miss out.

"I can guarantee people will go out of the way to make this because they know how valuable it is," he said, citing the importance of Cahokia as "the Washington, D.C., of Mississippian culture."

Kinsella also noted that this year's conference will update people on new research at the Mounds and at sites like the East St. Louis bridge base excavations and Emerald Mound.

The conference is held at Cahokia every other year and at other historic places in off-years. According to Site Superintendent Mark Esarey, the site sent out calls for talks earlier this year. Presentations run 15 minutes each, to accommodate the large number of speakers, Esarey said.

Contact reporter Amelia Flood at 618-344-0264 ext. 133