UNESCO World Heritage Site: Cahokia Mounds

Cahokia Mounds

The Cahokia Mounds are all that remains of the largest pre-Columbian settlement north of Mexico.  At its peak it is estimated up to 20,000 people lived here.  It was the largest known city to have existed in the United States until Philadelphia topped that population in the late 18th century.  It was the epicenter of Mississippian culture, with its influence extending through much of the southeastern United States.  Peoples from many different Native tribes lived together here during the Mississippian period (800-1350).

80 of the original 120 mounds remain today.  The largest of these is known as Monks Mound, which covers 14 acres and is 100 feet high.  Mounds served different purposes in Cahokian society.  One of the burial mounds (Mound 72) was excavated from 1967-1971.  The remains found there have helped piece together some of the mystery of this ancient civilization.

View of Monks Mound hiding behind another mound

View of Monks Mound hiding behind another mound

Example of palisade wall structure that surrounded the settlement

Example of palisade wall structure that surrounded the settlement

One of the Twin Mounds.  This one was used as a funeral home, where remains were stored until burial.

One of the Twin Mounds. This one was used as a funeral home, where remains were stored until burial.

One of the Twin Mounds.  This one was used as a burial mound.

One of the Twin Mounds. This one was used as a burial mound.

Side view of Monks Mound

Side view of Monks Mound

Me at the base of the steps leading up Monks Mound after getting caught in a downpour.

Me at the base of the steps leading up Monks Mound after getting caught in a downpour.

Recreation inside the Interactive Center

Recreation inside the Interactive Center

Recreation inside the Interactive Center

Recreation inside the Interactive Center

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s