Cahokia is an archaeological site containing a pre-Columbian Native American city around 600 – 1400 CE. It is located along the Mississippi River near the modern city of Saint Louis, Missouri. This historic park is located in southern Illinois, between East St. Louis and Collinsville.
The park covers 890 hectares or about 9 km2 and contains about 80 mounds, although the ancient city was much more substantial. In its glory days, Cahokia covered approximately 16 km2 and comprised around 120 human-made clay mounds in a variety of sizes, shapes, and functions.
Cahokia was the largest and most influential urban settlement of the Mississippi culture that developed advanced societies in much of what is now central and southeastern the United States, starting more than 1000 years before European contact.
The population of Cahokia, at its peak, in the thirteenth century, had approximative 40,000 people, it would not have been surpassed in number by any city in the United States until the eighteenth century. Today, Cahokia Mounds is considered the largest and most complex archaeological site north of the significant pre-Columbian towns of Mexico.
More About The “Lost Civilization” Of Cahokia
Cahokia Mounds is a national historic landmark and site designated for state protection. It is also one of only 23 UNESCO World Heritage sites in the United States. It is the most significant prehistoric clay construction in America located in northern Mexico. The site is open to the public and is administered by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency and supported by the Cahokia Mounds Museum Society.
The houses were very developed. Archaeologists have discovered coffee-based beverages and complex games. In the city, there was also a wooden temple, but also a wooden structure similar to the Stonehenge monument.
Near Cahokia’s famous mounds, archaeologists dug up two sediment cores from opposite sides of Horseshoe Lake. The results suggest that the population in this area began to revive in 1500 CE, indicating that any lack of growth was short-lived.
A study using ancient human poop samples showed evidence of droughts and floods that might have contributed to Cahokia’s changing population in the 1300s.