SOCI 112 A
The Cahokia Mounds were once an affluent area over one thousand years ago. The Cahokia Mounds are located around East St. Louis, Illinois, that stretch down as far south as Louisiana. The mounds were a collection of 120 mounds that over a thousand years ago was an enormous city, even compared to European and other Mesoamerican cities at the time. Archaeologists have been performing routine excavations at the site since the 1920’s, and have been puzzled how such a great civilization could rise and fall within 200 years. Some of the questions archaeologists have been answered through their excavations, and yet they have been unable to answer the questions they have, however here are some of the most fascinating features archaeologists have discovered there.
The Cahokia Mounds were the biggest pre- Columbian city north of Mexico, the city was made up of a agricultural society, which had built over 120 mounds, and yet currently only one survives while the rest were destroyed in St. Louis’s rapid growth beginning in the 1860’s (Science). The Cahokia mounds were originally a small community that was situated along the Mississippi river, in the plains of the Midwest. The city of Cahokia grew dramatically for reasons unknown around 1000 C.E, yet by 1300 C.E. the City of Cahokia fell, and the city of Cahokia was abandoned. However, the mounds occupy over “1,600 hectares [or] 3,950 acres” that stretched all the way down to the “northeastern Louisiana”, along the Mississippi river (Science, UNESCO). Cahokia had a population of “10,000-20,000 at its peak between 1050-1150 C.E,” which is why it is suggested that the mounds only took “two-and-a-half years,” instead of the originally believed theory that it took twenty years to move “six million baskets of dirt” to build the massive mounds (UNESCO, Science). The Cahokia Mounds are both a habitation site, and a historic site, because the site was occupied after...
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