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Ancient Village in the Great Lakes
Cahokia - Monk's Mound submitted by bat400
Ancient City in Madison and St. Clair Counties, Illinois--Time to drool over another place you'll definitely want to visit. A few miles west of Collinsville are the remains of a Mississippian city now called Cahokia. The site was inhabited between 700-1400 A.D., with its peak being around 1050-1200 A.D. The city is famous for its 120 plus mounds constructed and enlarged on several occasions during the city’s habitation.
At its most populous Cahokia is believed to have had as many as 10000-20000 people living there and its central area covered six square miles. In addition to the mounds, a bastioned stockade around a central mound and plaza area, and the remains of rows of houses and other plazas have been found. The site has produced many finds, including copper items, fine pottery, and carved tablets of stone. Burials of individuals with funeral goods and human sacrifices support the concept of a society focused on individual leaders or hierarchical lineages.
Some researchers (including Timothy Pauketat, Joeseph Galloy, Thomas Emerson, and John Kelly) believe that Cahokia, along with two other Mound Centers, the East Saint Louis" and Saint Louis Mound groups, were joined and served as a central ceremonial and administrative center to a much larger area of smaller settlements, farmsteads, and craft centers, In others words, they functioned as a city, producing an influx of peoples of multiple ethnic and language groups, spurring trade, and having a large influence on religious and technological culture up and down the Mississippi River and its regional watershed. Other researches (whom Galloy refers to as "minimalists') concede the size of each center, but doubt that the society was as complex as to be considered as as a city.
What happened to Cahokia’s inhabitants is not completely understood, but archaeology seems to point in the direction of a decline in the population starting in the 1200s, leading to it being abandoned by 1400 A.D.
The name ‘Cahokia’, comes from a tribe who inhabited the surrounding area some 200 years after the city was abandoned.
Cahokia - Kunnemann Group submitted by durhamnature. Excavation of Kunnemann Mound, one of 6-11, from "Cahokia Mounds" via Archive.org
See individual site listings for major structures within the Cahokia complex, including Monk's Mound and Woodhenge.
For more, see the Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site, and the National Park Service's World Heritage Sites.
***This post originally ran on The Megalithic Portal and appears here with permission.***