Cahokia

The Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site /kəˈhoʊkiə/ (11 MS 2)[2] is the site of a pre-Columbian Native American city (circa 1050–1350 CE[3]) directly across the Mississippi River from modern St. Louis, Missouri. This historic park lies in southern Illinois between East St. Louis and Collinsville.[4] The park covers 2,200 acres (890 ha), or about 3.5 square miles (9 km2), and contains about 80 mounds, but the ancient city was much larger. In its heyday, Cahokia covered about 6 square miles (16 km2) and included about 120 manmade earthen mounds in a wide range of sizes, shapes, and functions.[5]

Cahokia was the largest and most influential urban settlement of the Mississippian culture, which developed advanced societies across much of what is now the central and southeastern United States, beginning more than 1,000 years before European contact.[6] Today, Cahokia Mounds is considered the largest and most complex archaeological site north of the great pre-Columbian cities in Mexico.

Cahokia Mounds is a National Historic Landmark and a designated site for state protection. It is also one of only 23 UNESCO World Heritage Sites within the United States. The largest prehistoric earthen construction in the Americas north of Mexico,[5] the site is open to the public and administered by the Illinois Historic Preservation Division and supported by the Cahokia Mounds Museum Society. In celebration of the 2018 Illinois Bicentennial, the Cahokia Mounds were selected as one of the Illinois 200 Great Places[7] by the American Institute of Architects Illinois component (AIA Illinois) and was recognized by USA Today Travel magazine, as one of AIA Illinois's selections for Illinois 25 Must See Places.[8]

Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site
Monks Mound in July
Monks Mound, the largest earthen structure at Cahokia (for scale, an adult is standing on top)
Map showing the location of Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site
Map showing the location of Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site
LocationSt. Clair County, Illinois, U.S.
Nearest cityCollinsville, Illinois
Coordinates38°39′14″N 90°3′52″W / 38.65389°N 90.06444°WCoordinates: 38°39′14″N 90°3′52″W / 38.65389°N 90.06444°W
Area2,200 acres (8.9 km2)
Governing bodyIllinois Historic Preservation Agency
Official nameCahokia Mounds State Historic Site
TypeCultural
Criteriaiii, iv
Designated1982 (6th session)
Reference no.198
State PartyUnited States
RegionEurope and North America
Official nameCahokia Mounds
DesignatedOctober 15, 1966[1]
Reference no.66000899
Official nameCahokia Mounds
DesignatedJuly 19, 1964[1]

History and Mounds

Development

Mississippian cultures HRoe 2010
A map showing approximate areas of various Mississippian and related cultures. Cahokia is located near the center of this map in the upper part of the Middle Mississippi area.

Although some evidence exists of occupation during the Late Archaic period (around 1200 BCE) in and around the site,[9] Cahokia as it is now defined was settled around 600 CE during the Late Woodland period. Mound building at this location began with the emergent Mississippian cultural period, about the 9th century CE.[10] The inhabitants left no written records beyond symbols on pottery, shell, copper, wood, and stone, but the elaborately planned community, woodhenge, mounds, and burials reveal a complex and sophisticated society.[11] The city's original name is unknown.

The mounds were later named after the Cahokia tribe, a historic Illiniwek people living in the area when the first French explorers arrived in the 17th century. As this was centuries after Cahokia was abandoned by its original inhabitants, the Cahokia tribe was not necessarily descended from the earlier Mississippian-era people. Most likely, multiple indigenous ethnic groups settled in the Cahokia Mounds area during the time of the city's apex.[12][13]

Historian Daniel Richter notes that the apex of the city occurred during the Medieval Warming Period. This period appears to have fostered an agricultural revolution in upper North America, as the three-fold crops of maize, beans (legumes), and gourds (squash) were developed and adapted or bred to the temperate climates of the north from their origins in Mesoamerica. Richter also notes that Cahokia's advanced development coincided with the development in the Southwest of the Chaco Canyon society, which also produced large-scale works in an apparent socially stratified society. The decline of the city coincides with the Little Ice Age, although by then, the three-fold agriculture remained well-established throughout temperate North America.[14]

Rise and peak (13th century)

Cahokia became the most important center for the people known today as Mississippians. Their settlements ranged across what is now the Midwest, Eastern, and Southeastern United States. Cahokia was located in a strategic position near the confluence of the Mississippi, Missouri, and Illinois Rivers. It maintained trade links with communities as far away as the Great Lakes to the north and the Gulf Coast to the south, trading in such exotic items as copper, Mill Creek chert,[15] and whelk shells.

Mill Creek chert, most notably, was used in the production of hoes, a high demand tool for farmers around Cahokia and other Mississippian centers. Cahokia's control of the manufacture and distribution of these hand tools was an important economic activity that allowed the city to thrive.[16] Mississippian culture pottery and stone tools in the Cahokian style were found at the Silvernale site[17] near Red Wing, Minnesota, and materials and trade goods from Pennsylvania, the Gulf Coast and Lake Superior have been excavated at Cahokia. Bartering, not money, was used in trade.[18]

At the high point of its development, Cahokia was the largest urban center north of the great Mesoamerican cities in Mexico and Central America. Although it was home to only about 1,000 people before circa 1050, its population grew rapidly after that date. According to a 2007 study in Quaternary Science Reviews, "Between AD 1050 and 1100, Cahokia's population increased from between 1,400 and 2,800 people to between 10,200 and 15,300 people".[19] an estimate that applies only to a 1.8-square-kilometre (0.69 sq mi) high density central occupation area.[20] Archaeologists estimate the city's population at between 6,000 and 40,000 at its peak,[21] with more people living in outlying farming villages that supplied the main urban center. In the early 21st century, new residential areas were found to the west of Cahokia as a result of archeological excavations, increasing estimates of area population.[22] If the highest population estimates are correct, Cahokia was larger than any subsequent city in the United States until the 1780s, when Philadelphia's population grew beyond 40,000.[23] Moreover, according to the same population estimates, the population of 13th-century Cahokia was equal to or larger than the population of 13th-century London.

One of the major problems that large centers like Cahokia faced was keeping a steady supply of food. A related problem was waste disposal for the dense population, and Cahokia became unhealthy from polluted waterways. Because it was such an unhealthy place to live, Snow believes that the town had to rely on social and political attractions to bring in a steady supply of new immigrants; otherwise, the town's death rate would have caused it to be abandoned earlier.[16]

Decline

Illinois 1718
Tamarois et Caouquias on a map of Illinois in 1718 south of the confluence of the Illinois and Mississippi rivers (approximate modern state area highlighted) from Carte de la Louisiane et du Cours du Mississipi by Guillaume de L'Isle

The population of Cahokia began to decline during the 13th century, and the site was eventually abandoned around 1300.[24] The area around it was not reoccupied by indigenous tribes[25] until around 1350.[26] Scholars have proposed environmental factors, such as overhunting, deforestation, and flooding, as explanations for abandonment of the site.[24]

Another possible cause is invasion by outside peoples, though the only evidence of warfare found are the defensive wooden stockade and watchtowers that enclosed Cahokia's main ceremonial precinct. There is no other evidence for warfare, so the palisade may have been more for ritual or formal separation than for military purposes. Diseases transmitted among the large, dense urban population are another possible cause of decline. Many theories since the late 20th century propose conquest-induced political collapse as the primary reason for Cahokia's abandonment.[27]

Together with these factors, researchers found evidence in 2015 of major floods at Cahokia, so severe as to flood dwelling places. Analysis of sediment from beneath Horseshoe Lake has revealed that two major floods occurred in the period of settlement at Cahokia, in roughly 1100–1260 and 1340–1460.[26][28]

Notable features

Mississippian culture mound components HRoe 2011
Mississippian period showing the multiple layers of mound construction, mound structures such as temples or mortuaries, ramps with log stairs, and prior structures under later layers, multiple terraces, and intrusive burials

The original site contained 120 earthen mounds over an area of 6 square miles (16 km2), of which 80 remain today. To achieve that, thousands of workers over decades moved more than an "estimated 55 million cubic feet [1,600,000 m3] of earth in woven baskets to create this network of mounds and community plazas. Monks Mound, for example, covers 14 acres (5.7 ha), rises 100 ft (30 m), and was topped by a massive 5,000 sq ft (460 m2) building another 50 ft (15 m) high".[5]

Monks Mound

Cahokia monks mound McAdams 1887
An 1882 illustration of Monks Mound showing it with fanciful proportions
Cahokia Birdman tablet HRoe 2012
Incised sandstone tablet of a Birdman found in 1971 during excavations into the east side of Monks Mound

Monks Mound is the largest structure and central focus of the city: a massive platform mound with four terraces, 10 stories tall, it is the largest man-made earthen mound north of Mexico. Facing south, it is 100 ft (30 m) high, 951 ft (290 m) long, 836 ft (255 m) wide and covers 13.8 acres (5.6 ha).[29] It contains about 814,000 cu yd (622,000 m3) of earth.[16] The mound was built higher and wider over the course of several centuries, through as many as 10 separate construction episodes, as the mound was built taller and the terraces and apron were added.[29]

Monks Mounds was named for the community of Trappist monks who resided there for a short time, after Euroamericans settled in the area. Excavation on the top of Monks Mound has revealed evidence of a large building, likely a temple or the residence of the paramount chief, which would have been seen throughout the city. This building was about 105 ft (32 m) long and 48 feet (15 m) wide, and could have been as much as 50 ft (15 m) high. It was about 5,000 sq ft (460 m2).

The east and northwest sides of Monks Mound were twice excavated in August 2007 during an attempt to avoid erosion due to slumping. These areas were repaired to preserve the mound.[30]

Urban landscape

Cahokia Aerial HRoe 2015
Cahokia's east-west baseline transects the Woodhenge, Monk's Mound, and several other large mounds
Cahokia Rattlesnake Causeway and Mound HRoe 2018
The Rattlesnake Causeway leading from Monks Mound to Mound 66 is the city's ceremonial north-south axis.

Early in its history, Cahokia underwent a massive construction boom. Along with the early phase of Monks Mound, an overarching urban layout was established at the site. It was built with a symbolic quadripartite worldview and oriented toward the four cardinal directions with the main east-west and north-south axes defined with Monks Mound near its center point. Four large plazas were established to the east, west, north, and south of Monks Mound.[31][32]

To the south of Monks Mound is the Grand Plaza, a large area that covered roughly 50 acres (20 ha) and measured over 1,600 ft (490 m) in length by over 900 ft (270 m) in width. Researchers originally thought the flat, open terrain in this area reflected Cahokia's location on the Mississippi's alluvial flood plain, but instead soil studies have shown that the landscape was originally undulating ridge and swale topography. In one of the earliest large-scale construction projects, the site had been expertly and deliberately leveled and filled by the city's inhabitants. It is part of the sophisticated engineering displayed throughout the site.[33] It was used for large ceremonies and gatherings, as well as for ritual games, such as chunkey. The game was played by rolling a disc-shaped chunky stone across the field. The men would throw spears where they thought the chunky stone would land. The game required a great deal of judgment and aim.[16]

The major ceremonial north-south 'axis' connects the main precinct with the large ridgetop mortuary mound to its south now known as the Rattlesnake Mound (Mound 66[34]). The feature, named the Rattlesnake Causeway by archaeologists, was an elevated embankment about 18 metres (59 ft) wide, roughly 800 metres (2,600 ft) in length and varies in height from 0.5 metres (1.6 ft) to almost 1.3 metres (4.3 ft) as it traverses a low swampy area to the south of the Grand Plaza.[35] It is aligned 5° east of north, a direction thought to mimic the maximum southern moon rise of 5° west of north, albeit in reverse. This is thought to have had symbolic associations to the builders in connection with their lunar maize goddess of the underworld.[36] This is further strengthened by its close proximity to the ridgetop mortuary Mound 72, the underworld connotations of the low water-filled area the causeway traversed, and its terminus at the mortuary complex at the Rattlesnake Mound. The causeway itself may have been seen as a symbolic "Path of Souls".[35]

The high-status central district of Cahokia was surrounded by a 2-mi-long palisade that was equipped with protective bastions. A later addition to the site, when the palisade was constructed, it cut through and separated some pre-existing neighborhoods.[16] Archaeologists found evidence of the stockade during excavation of the area and indications that it was rebuilt several times. Its bastions showed that it was mainly built for defensive purposes.[16]

Beyond Monks Mound, as many as 120 more mounds stood at varying distances from the city center. To date, 109 mounds have been located, 68 of which are in the park area. The mounds are divided into three different types: platform, conical, and ridge-top. Each appeared to have had its own meaning and function. In general terms, the city center seems to have been laid out in a diamond-shaped pattern about 1 mi (1.6 km) from end to end, while the entire city is 5 mi (8.0 km) across from east to west.

Mound 72

Cahokia Mound 72
Mound 72
Bird Man Cahokia USA
Reconstruction of the Birdman burial in the site's interpretative center.
Mound 72 sacrifice ceremony HRoe 2013
Mass grave burial of fifty-three sacrificed Native American women

During excavation of Mound 72, a ridge-top burial mound south of main urban precinct, archaeologists found the remains of a man in his 40s who was probably an important Cahokian ruler. The man was buried on a bed of more than 20,000 marine-shell disc beads arranged in the shape of a falcon,[37] with the bird's head appearing beneath and beside the man's head, and its wings and tail beneath his arms and legs.

The falcon warrior or "birdman" is a common motif in Mississippian culture. This burial clearly had powerful iconographic significance. In addition, a cache of sophisticated, finely worked arrowheads in a variety of different styles and materials was found near the grave of this important man. Separated into four types, each from a different geographical region, the arrowheads demonstrated Cahokia's extensive trade links in North America.

Archeologists recovered more than 250 other skeletons from Mound 72. Scholars believe almost 62% of these were sacrificial victims, based on signs of ritual execution, method of burial, and other factors.[38] The skeletons include:

  • Four young males, missing their hands and skulls
  • A mass grave of more than 50 women around 21 years old, with the bodies arranged in two layers separated by matting
  • A mass burial containing 40 men and women who appear to have been violently killed, some of these may have been buried alive: "From the vertical position of some of the fingers, which appear to have been digging in the sand, it is apparent that not all of the victims were dead when they were interred – that some had been trying to pull themselves out of the mass of bodies."[39]

The relationship of these burials to the central burial is unclear. They were unlikely to have all deposited at the same time. Wood in several parts of the mound has been radiocarbon-dated to between 950 and 1000 CE.

Excavations have indicated that Mound 72 was not constructed as a single mound, but rather as a series of smaller mounds. These mounds were reshaped and covered over to give Mound 72 its final ridge-top shape.[40]

Mississippian Stone Statuary HRoe 2010
Map showing geographical extent of Mississippian stone statues showing Cahokia
Chunkey player figurine
The "Chunkey Player" statuette made of Missouri flint clay depicts the ancient Native American game of chunkey. The statuette is believed to have been originally crafted at or near Cahokia Mounds was excavated at a Mississippian site in Muskogee County, Oklahoma.
Keller figurine
Clay statuette excavated at Cahokia site

Copper workshop

Spiro Wulfing and Etowah repousse plates HRoe 2012
Mississippian culture repoussé copper plates

Excavations near Mound 34 from 2002 to 2010 revealed a copper workshop. This unique find was originally discovered in the 1950s by archaeologist Gregory Perino, but its exact location was lost for 60 years. It is the only known copper workshop to be found at a Mississippian culture site.[41] The area contains the remains of three tree stumps thought to have been used to hold anvil stones. Analysis of copper found during excavations showed that it had been annealed, a technique involving repeatedly heating and cooling the metal as it is worked, as blacksmiths do with iron.[41]

Artisans produced religious items, such as long-nosed god maskettes, ceremonial earrings with a symbolic shape, thought to have been used in fictive kinship rituals.[42][43] Many of the stylistically related Mississippian copper plates, such as the Wulfing cache from southeastern Missouri, some of the Etowah plates from Georgia, and many of the Spiro plates from Oklahoma, are associated with the Greater Braden style and are thought to have been made in Cahokia in the 13th century.[44][45][46][47]

Cahokia Woodhenge

Cahokia Woodhenge at Sunrise HRoe 2017sm
Artist's conception of Woodhenge III at sunrise looking east towards Monks Mound
Cahokia winter solstice sunrise over Fox Mound HRoe 2017sm
Artist's conception of midwinter sunrise over Mound 60

The Cahokia Woodhenge was a series of large timber circles located roughly 850 m (2,790 ft) to the west of Monks Mound. They are thought to have been constructed between 900 and 1100 CE, with each one being larger and having 12 more posts than its predecessor.[48] The site was discovered during salvage archaeology undertaken by Dr. Warren Wittry in the early 1960s interstate highway construction boom. Although the majority of the site contained village house features, a number of unusually shaped, large post holes were also discovered. When the holes were plotted out, they formed several arcs of equally spaced holes.[49] Detailed analytical work supported the hypothesis that the placement of these posts was by design,[50] and Wittry hypothesized that the arcs could be whole circles. He began referring to the circles as "woodhenges", comparing the structures to England's well-known circles at Woodhenge and Stonehenge.[51][52]

Additional excavations in the 1960s–1980s used predictions based on verified posthole locations and spacing to locate other postholes and confirm the existence of five separate timber circles in the general vicinity. The circles are now designated Woodhenges I through V in Roman numerals.[49] In 1985, a reconstruction of Woodhenge III was built with the posts being placed into the original excavated post positions.[49] The circle, which has 48 posts in the circle and a 49th central post, has been used to investigate archaeoastronomy at Cahokia.[53] The Illinois Historic Preservation Division that oversees the Cahokia site hosts public sunrise observations at the vernal and autumnal equinoxes and the winter and summer solstices. Out of respect for Native American beliefs, these events do not feature ceremonies or rituals of any kind.[54][55][56]

Related mounds

Cahokia 2
St. Louis as seen from Monks Mound.

Until the 19th century, a series of similar mounds existed in what is now the city of St. Louis, some 20 km (12 mi) to the southwest of the Cahokia site. Most of these mounds were leveled throughout the construction of St. Louis, as their material was reused in construction projects.

The lone survivor of these mounds is Sugarloaf Mound, which is located on the west bank of the Mississippi. It marked the initial border between St. Louis and the once autonomous city of Carondelet.

Cahokia Museum and Interpretive Center

Cahokia 1
The Museum and Interpretive Center

The Cahokia Museum and Interpretive Center, which receives up to a million visitors a year, was designed by AAIC Inc. The building, which opened in 1989, received the Thomas H. Madigan Award, the St. Louis Construction News & Reviews Readers Choice Award, the Merit Award from the Metal Construction Association, and the Outstanding Achievement Award from the Brick Manufacturer Association.

Designations

Cahokia Mounds was first protected by the state of Illinois in 1923 when its legislature authorized purchase of a state park. Later designation as a state historic site offered additional protection, but the site came under significant threat from the federal highway building program in the 1950s. The highway program reduced the site's integrity; however, it increased funding for emergency archeological investigations. These investigations became intensive, and today continue, and have led to the present understanding of the significance of the site. The site was designated a National Historic Landmark on July 19, 1964, and listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 15, 1966.[1]

In 1982, UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) designated the site a World Heritage Site. This is the only such site in Illinois and among only 23 World Heritage Sites in the United States.[57] State Senator Evelyn M. Bowles wrote about the Cahokia Mounds site:

Through the years my friends and I made occasional Sunday afternoon trips to the Mounds. When I became the State Senator, it afforded me the opportunity to secure funds for the acquisition of additional acreage in which there are smaller Mounds. Many of these have contained additional artifacts." The designation has helped protect the property and attract funds to conduct research on this significant civilization.[58]

See also

Notes

^ a: See Engraved beaker from Cahokia site, donated by Moorehead, ISM collection. for image of the object in question.

References

  1. ^ a b c "Cahokia Mounds". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Archived from the original on March 3, 2008. Retrieved July 23, 2008.
  2. ^ Pursell 205
  3. ^ Munoz, Samuel E., Sissel Schroeder, David A. Fike, and John W. Williams 2014 A record of sustained prehistoric and historic land use from the Cahokia region, Illinois, USA. Geology 42(6): 499–502
  4. ^ Cahokia Mounds Homepage; Map of the Site
  5. ^ a b c "Nomination – Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site, Illinois", US World Heritage Sites, National Park Service, accessed 2012-05-03
  6. ^ WashingtonPost.com: Ancient Cahokia, Washington Post
  7. ^ Waldinger, Mike (January 30, 2018). "The proud history of architecture in Illinois". Springfield Business Journal. Retrieved January 30, 2018.
  8. ^ "25 Must See Buildings in Illinois". USA Today. August 9, 2017. Retrieved January 30, 2018.
  9. ^ James M. Collins, The archaeology of the Cahokia Mounds ICT-II, Springfield IL, Illinois Historic Preservation Agency (1990) ISBN 0-942579-10-0
  10. ^ Emerson and Barry, Cahokia and the Hinterlands, 33 & 46
  11. ^ Townsend, Sharp, and Bailey
  12. ^ "Native American city on the Mississippi was America's first 'melting pot' | News Bureau | University of Illinois". News.illinois.edu. March 3, 2014. Retrieved March 29, 2014.
  13. ^ "12th-Century Cahokia Was a "Melting Pot"". Archaeology Magazine. Archaeology.org. March 6, 2014. Retrieved March 29, 2014.
  14. ^ Richter, Daniel K. (2011). Before the Revolution: America's Ancient Pasts. Cambridge, MA: Belknap - Harvard University Press. pp. 20–21. ISBN 9780674055803.
  15. ^ "Illinois Agriculture-Technology-Hand tools-Native American Tools". Retrieved July 12, 2010.
  16. ^ a b c d e f Snow, Dean (2010). Archaeology of Native North Americas. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. pp. 201–203.
  17. ^ Cannon Valley Trail
  18. ^ https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/national/daily/march/12/cahokia.htm
  19. ^ Benson LV, Berry MS, Jolie EA, Spangler JD, Stahle DW, Hattori EM. "Possible impacts of early-11th-, middle-12th-, and late-13th-century droughts on western Native Americans and the Mississippian Cahokians." Quaternary Science Reviews 2007, 26:336–350,
  20. ^ Benson, L. V., Pauketat, T. R. and Cook, E. R. (2009) "Cahokia's Boom and Bust in the Context of Climate Change", American Antiquity, 74(3), pp. 467–483. doi: 10.1017/S000273160004871X.
  21. ^ Glenn Hodges, "America's Forgotten City", National Geographic, January 2011.
  22. ^ Ibid.
  23. ^ United States Census Office, A Century of Population Growth from the First Census of the United States to the Twelfth: 1790–1900, Government Printing Office, 1909, p. 11
  24. ^ a b Henderson, Harold. "The Rise and Fall of the Mound People". Chicago Reader. 2000-06-29. Retrieved 2016-05-28.
  25. ^ Pyburn, K. Anne, Ungendering Civilization, Routledge; 1 edition (Jan 29, 2004) ISBN 978-0-415-26058-9 [1]
  26. ^ a b Durrie Bouscaren, "New insights into the curious disappearance of the Cahokia Mounds builders", St. Louis Public Radio, 4 May 2015, accessed 6 May 2015
  27. ^ Emerson 1997, Pauketat 1994.
  28. ^ "Cahokia's rise and fall linked to river flooding", Popular Archaeology, Spring 2015
  29. ^ a b Skele, Mike (1988). "The Great Knob". Studies in Illinois Archaeology. Springfield, Illinois: Illinois Historic Preservation Agency (4). ISBN 0-942579-03-8.
  30. ^ "Monks Mound Slump Repair, Page 1". Lithiccastinglab.com. July 31, 2007. Retrieved September 10, 2012.
  31. ^ Steadman, Sharon R. (2009). Archaeology of Religion: Cultures and their Beliefs in Worldwide Context. Routledge. ISBN 978-1598741544.
  32. ^ Chappell, Sally A. Kitt (2002). Cahokia: Mirror of the Cosmos. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 9780226101361.
  33. ^ Timothy R., Pauketat (2009). Cahokia : Ancient Americas Great City on the Mississippi. Viking Press. pp. 23–34. ISBN 978-0-670-02090-4. Pg 23 "Cahokia was so large-covering three to five square miles-that archaeologists have yet to probe many portions of it. Its centerpiece was an open 50-acre Grand Plaza, surrounded by packed-clay pyramids. The size of 35 football fields, the Grand Plaza was at the time the biggest public space ever conceived and executed north of Mexico."...Pg 34 "a flat public square 1,600-plus feet in length and 900-plus feet in width
  34. ^ "Mound 66". Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site. Retrieved January 18, 2018.
  35. ^ a b Baires, Sarah E. (2014). "Cahokia's Rattlesnake Causeway". Midcontinental Journal of Archaeology. Retrieved January 18, 2018.
  36. ^ Romain, William F. (2015). "Moonwatchers of Cahokia". In Pauketat, Timothy R.; Alt, Susan M. (eds.). Medieval Mississippians : The Cahokian World. School for Advanced Research Press. pp. 33–41. ISBN 978-1938645327.
  37. ^ "Cahokia and the excavation of Mound 72". Retrieved August 21, 2010.
  38. ^ Young & Fowler, p. 148.
  39. ^ Young & Fowler, pp. 146–149.
  40. ^ "Mound 72". Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site. Archived from the original on June 23, 2012. Retrieved March 31, 2012.
  41. ^ a b Pawlaczyk, George (February 16, 2010). "Copper men: Archaeologists uncover Stone Age copper workshop near Monks Mound". Science. Retrieved November 8, 2010.
  42. ^ "Gahagan Long-nosed god maskette". University of Texas at Austin. Retrieved July 30, 2010.
  43. ^ "Aztalan – Wisconsin's Middle Mississippian Outpost". Milwaukee Public Museum. Archived from the original on May 27, 2010. Retrieved July 30, 2010.
  44. ^ Kelly et al. in King, 57–87
  45. ^ Robb, Matthew H. (March 2010). "Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum-Spotlight Series March 2010" (PDF). Saint Louis Art Museum. Retrieved May 2, 2012.
  46. ^ Townsend, Sharp, and Bailey 151
  47. ^ Bolfing 67–68
  48. ^ "Visitors Guide to the Woodhenge". Retrieved December 19, 2017.
  49. ^ a b c Iseminger, William R. "The Skywatchers of Cahokia". Mexicolore. Retrieved December 19, 2017.
  50. ^ Friedlander, Michael W. (2007). "The Cahokia Sun Circles". The Wisconsin Archeologist. 88(1): 78–90.
  51. ^ Wittry, Warren L. (1964). "An American Woodhenge". Cranbrook Institute of Science Newsletter. 33(9): 102–107 – via Explorations into Cahokia Archaeology, Bulletin 7, Illinois Archaeological Survey, 1969.
  52. ^ Wittry, Warren L. "Discovering and Interpreting the Cahokia Woodhenges". The Wisconsin Archaeologist. 77(3/4): 26–35.
  53. ^ Thomas, Mary (2005). American Woodhenge: Archaeoastronomy at Cahokia (PDF) (Bachelors thesis). Northern Illinois University. Retrieved December 20, 2017.
  54. ^ Iseminger, William. "Welcome the Fall Equinox at Cahokia Mounds". Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved December 20, 2017.
  55. ^ "Winter Solstice Sunrise Observance at Cahokia Mounds". Collinsville Chamber of Commerce. Retrieved December 20, 2017.
  56. ^ "Cahokia Mounds Mark Spring Equinox : The keepers of Cahokia Mounds will host a spring gathering to celebrate the vernal equinox". Indian Country Today. Indian Country Media Network. Retrieved December 20, 2017.
  57. ^ "United States of America – UNESCO World Heritage Centre". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. March 11, 2009. Retrieved March 11, 2009.
  58. ^ "Congressional representative letter". Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site. Archived from the original on October 19, 2011. Retrieved October 30, 2011.

Bibliography

Further reading

External links

American Bottom

The American Bottom is the flood plain of the Mississippi River in the Metro-East region of Southern Illinois, extending from Alton, Illinois, south to the Kaskaskia River. It is also sometimes called "American Bottoms". The area is about 175 square miles (450 km2), mostly protected from flooding in the 21st century by a levee and drainage canal system. Immediately across the river from St. Louis, Missouri are industrial and urban areas, but many swamps and the major Horseshoe Lake are reminders of the Bottoms' riparian nature. This plain served as the center for the pre-Columbian Cahokia Mounds civilization, and later the French settlement of Illinois Country. Deforestation of the river banks in the 19th century to fuel steamboats had dramatic environmental effects in this region. The Mississippi River between St. Louis and the confluence with the Ohio River became wider and more shallow, as unstable banks collapsed into the water. This resulted in more severe flooding and lateral changes of the major channel, causing the destruction of several French colonial towns, such as Kaskaskia, which relocated; Cahokia, and St. Philippe, Illinois.

The southern portion of the American Bottoms is primarily agricultural, planted chiefly in corn, wheat, and soybean. The American Bottom is part of the Mississippi Flyway used by migrating birds and has the greatest concentration of bird species in Illinois. The flood plain is bounded on the east by a nearly continuous, 200- to 300-foot high, 80-mile (130 km) long bluff of limestone and dolomite, above which begins the great prairie that covers most of the state. The Mississippi River bounds the Bottom on its west, and the river abuts the bluffline on the Missouri side. Portions of St. Clair, Madison, Monroe, and Randolph counties are in the American Bottom. Its maximum width is about 9 miles (14 km) in the north, and it is about 2 to 3 miles in width throughout most of its southern extent.

Black drink

Black drink is a name for several kinds of ritual beverages brewed by Native Americans in the Southeastern United States. Traditional ceremonial people of the Yuchi, Caddo, Chickasaw, Cherokee, Choctaw, Muscogee and some other Indigenous peoples of the Southeastern Woodlands use the black drink in purification ceremonies. It was occasionally known as white drink because of the association of the color white with peace leaders in some Native cultures in the Southeast.The preparation and protocols vary between tribes and ceremonial grounds; a prominent ingredient is the roasted leaves and stems of Ilex vomitoria (commonly known as yaupon holly), a plant native to the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts. Black drink also usually contains emetic herbs.

Cahokia, Illinois

Cahokia is a village in St. Clair County, Illinois, United States. It is located east of the Mississippi River in the Greater St. Louis metropolitan area. As of the 2010 census, 15,241 people lived in the village, a decline from 16,391 in 2000.

The name refers to one of the clans of the historic Illini confederacy, who met early French explorers to the region. Early European settlers named the nearby (and long-abandoned) Cahokia Mounds in present-day Madison County after the Illini clan. But the UNESCO World Heritage Site and State Historic Park was developed by the prehistoric Mississippian culture, active here from 900AD to 1500AD. They created an extensive urban complex, the largest of the farflung Mississippian culture territory through the Mississippi and Ohio river valleys.

French Canadian colonists founded Cahokia village in 1696 as a Catholic mission. The historic Church of the Holy Family is the oldest continually active Catholic parish in the United States, as well as the oldest church west of the Allegheny Mountains. Other significant colonial and Federal-period buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places include the Cahokia Courthouse (c 1740, in the French Colonial style); and the Jarrot Mansion (c 1810).

Cahokia Conference

The Cahokia Conference is a high school athletic and competitive activity organization which consists of 12 schools in southwestern Illinois, near St. Louis. All of the schools are located in St. Clair, Randolph, Monroe, Clinton, and Marion counties. The conference began in 1928.Two schools, Valmeyer and Steeleville, were added for the 2006–07 season. The addition split the conference into two divisions, the Mississippi and the Kaskaskia.

Cahokia High School

Cahokia High School is a public high school in Cahokia, Illinois that is part of the Cahokia Unit School District 187.

Cahokia Township, Macoupin County, Illinois

Cahokia Township (T8N R6W) is located in Macoupin County, Illinois, United States. As of the 2010 census, its population was 3,378 and it contained 1,594 housing units.

Cahokia Woodhenge

The Cahokia Woodhenge was a series of large timber circles located roughly 850 metres (2,790 ft) to the west of Monks Mound at the Mississippian culture Cahokia archaeological site near Collinsville, Illinois. They are thought to have been constructed between 900 and 1100 CE; with each one being larger and having more posts than its predecessor. The site was discovered as part of salvage archaeology in the early 1960s interstate highway construction boom and one of the circles was reconstructed in the 1980s. The circle has been used to investigate archaeoastronomy at Cahokia. Annual equinox and solstice sunrise observation events are held at the site.

Christopher Belt

Christopher Belt is a Democratic member of the Illinois Senate for the 57th district. The 57th District, located in the Metro East region includes all or parts of Freeburg, Belleville, East St. Louis, O'Fallon, Madison, Fairview Heights, Shiloh, and Scott Air Force Base.Belt was previously the President of the Board of Education for Cahokia Unit School District 187.

Cloverdale archaeological site

The Cloverdale archaeological site (23BN2) is an archaeological site located near St. Joseph, Missouri. It is situated at the mouth of a small valley that opens into the Missouri River.

It was occupied by Kansas City Hopewell (c. 100 to 500 CE) peoples, and later by Mississippian influenced Steed-Kisker peoples (c. 1200).

Because of the many Cahokia style projectile points found at the site, it is believed to have been a trade partner or outpost of the much larger Cahokia polity.

Emerald Mound and Village Site

The Emerald Mound and Village Site (Emerald Site) is a pre-Columbian archaeological site located northwest of the junction of Emerald Mound Grange and Midgley Neiss Roads in St. Clair County, Illinois. The site includes five mounds, two of which have been destroyed by modern activity, and the remains of a village. Middle Mississippian peoples inhabited the village, which was a satellite village of Cahokia. The largest of the mounds is a two-tiered structure that stands 50 feet (15 m) high; its square base is 300 feet (91 m) across, while its upper tier is 150 feet (46 m) across. At the time of its discovery, the mound was the second-largest known in Illinois after Monks Mound at Cahokia.The site was added to the National Register of Historic Places on October 26, 1971.

List of geological features on Mercury

List of geological features on Mercury is an itemization of mountains, valleys, craters and other landform features of the planet Mercury. Different types of features are named after different things: Mercurian ridges are called dorsa, and are named after astronomers who made detailed studies of the planet; valleys are called valles, and are named after ancient abandoned cities, towns, and settlements; crater chains are called catenae and are named after radio telescope facilities; plains are called planitiae, and most are named after mythological names associated with Mercury; escarpments are called rupes and are named after the ships of famous explorers; long, narrow depressions are called fossae and are named after works of architecture.

See also list of craters on Mercury, list of albedo features on Mercury, and list of quadrangles on Mercury

Longitude is west longitude.

Mississippian culture

The Mississippian culture was a mound-building Native American civilization that flourished in what is now the Midwestern, Eastern, and Southeastern United States from approximately 800 to 1600, varying regionally. It was composed of a series of urban settlements and satellite villages (suburbs) linked together by loose trading networks. The largest city was Cahokia, believed to be a major religious center.

The Mississippian way of life began to develop in the Mississippi River Valley (for which it is named). Cultures in the tributary Tennessee River Valley may have also begun to develop Mississippian characteristics at this point. Almost all dated Mississippian sites predate 1539–1540 (when Hernando de Soto explored the area), with notable exceptions being Natchez communities that maintained Mississippian cultural practices into the 18th century.

Monks Mound

Monks Mound is the largest Pre-Columbian earthwork in the Americas and the largest pyramid north of Mesoamerica. The beginning of its construction dates from 900-955 CE. Located at the Cahokia Mounds UNESCO World Heritage Site near Collinsville, Illinois, the mound size was calculated in 1988 as about 100 feet (30 m) high, 955 feet (291 m) long including the access ramp at the southern end, and 775 feet (236 m) wide. This makes Monks Mound roughly the same size at its base as the Great Pyramid of Giza (13.1 acres / 5.3 hectares). The perimeter of its base is larger than the Pyramid of the Sun at Teotihuacan. As a platform mound, the earthwork supported a wooden structure on the summit.

Unlike Egyptian pyramids which were built of stone, the platform mound was constructed almost entirely of layers of basket-transported soil and clay. Because of this construction and its flattened top, over the years, it has retained rainwater within the structure. This has caused slumping, the avalanche-like sliding of large sections of the sides at the highest part of the mound. Its designed dimensions would have been significantly smaller than its present extent, but recent excavations have revealed that slumping was a problem even while the mound was being made.

Moorehead Circle

Moorehead Circle was a triple woodhenge constructed about two millennia ago at the Fort Ancient Earthworks in the U.S. state of Ohio.

The outer circle, discovered in 2005 by Jarrod Burks, is about 60 metres (200 ft) in diameter. Robert Riordan, Professor of Archaeology at Wright State University and lead archaeologist investigating the site, estimates that about two hundred wooden posts were set in the outer circle. Following the 2009 Field Season though, this estimate will likely be reevaluated given a huge number of tightly spaced post-molds found on the geographic south of the feature.Thirty post-molds in all, were found in an eight meter long area excavated on the border of the circle. "A radiocarbon date on charcoal from a remnant trace of a post suggests it was built between 40 BC and AD 130. Burned timber fragments from the pit were dated AD 250 to AD 420." Both dates fall into the time period of the Hopewell culture, preceding the Fort Ancient culture occupation that predominates the site. The use or uses of the circles has not been determined, although it was likely ceremonial.

Dr. Riordan named the circle in honor of Warren K. Moorehead, first curator of archaeology for the Ohio Historical Society and a leading North American archaeologist around the turn of the twentieth century, who was largely responsible for preservation of the Fort Ancient site.

Other woodhenges have been found in the central part of the United States, including the Cahokia Woodhenge and Mound 72 Woodhenges (both located at the Cahokia site in western Illinois) and the Stubbs Earthworks, which is also a Hopewell culture site located in Warren County, Ohio.

Mound 34

Mound 34 is a small platform mound located roughly 400 metres (1,300 ft) to the east of Monks Mound at Cahokia Mounds near Collinsville, Illinois. Excavations near Mound 34 from 2002–2010 revealed the remains of a copper workshop, although the one of a kind discovery had been previously found in the late 1950s by archaeologist Gregory Perino, but lost for 60 years. It is so far the only remains of a copper workshop found at a Mississippian culture archaeological site.

Mound 72

Mound 72 is a small ridgetop mound located roughly 850 meters (2,790 ft) to the south of Monks Mound at Cahokia Mounds near Collinsville, Illinois. Early in the site's history, the location began as a circle of 48 large wooden posts known as a "woodhenge". The woodhenge was later dismantled and a series of mortuary houses, platform mounds, mass burials and eventually the ridgetop mound erected in its place. The mound was the location of the "beaded burial", an elaborate burial of an elite personage thought to have been one of the rulers of Cahokia, accompanied by the graves of several hundred retainers and sacrificial victims.

Old Cahokia Courthouse

The Cahokia Courthouse State Historic Site is a reconstructed French-Canadian structure built about 1740 at what is now 107 Elm Street, Cahokia, Illinois. At various times it has served as a house and as a courthouse. It is currently interpreted to resemble its appearance about 1800 as a frontier courthouse of the Northwest Territory. The courthouse was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on November 9, 1972.

Timber circle

In archaeology, timber circles are circular arrangements of wooden posts interpreted as being either complexes of freestanding totem poles or as the supports for large circular buildings.

USS Cahokia (ATA-186)

The second USS Cahokia (ATA-186) was laid down as ATR-113, reclassified ATA-186 on 15 May 1944, and launched 18 September 1944 by Levingston Shipbuilding Co., Orange, Texas; and commissioned 24 November 1944, Lieutenant J. T. Dillon, USNR, in command. She was assigned the name Cahokia 16 July 1948.

Cahokia sailed from Galveston, Texas, 23 December 1944, for the Panama Canal Zone, San Francisco, and then for Pearl Harbor 4 March 1945, and assumed towing duty between Ulithi, Manus, Leyte, the Russell Islands, and Okinawa, until 8 September when she arrived in Tokyo Bay. She supported the occupation of Japan until 14 October, when she sailed from Yokosuka for Okinawa, arriving 17 October. She had duty at Okinawa, with a brief period at Shanghai and Jinsen until 22 April 1946. On 4 May Cahokia departed Sasebo for Manus and Pearl Harbor. After almost a month in Pearl, she sailed for San Francisco, arriving 15 July for duty with the 12th Naval District.

Cahokia undertook a variety of assignments through 1950. In January 1951, she assisted in the sinking of USS Independence (CVL-22) in an experimental underwater explosion test off San Francisco. Between 16 and 18 June 1954, she delivered water to Alcatraz Penitentiary when the prison's water system failed, and on 1 April 1955, she assisted in quelling a serious fire in San Francisco's Ferry Building. Her duties since have included coastal towing duty, search and rescue operations, target towing, and dumping atomic waste material for the U.S. Naval Radiological Defense Laboratory at San Francisco.

Middle
Mississippian
South Appalachian
Mississippian
Fort Walton culture
Pensacola culture
Plaquemine
Mississippian
Caddoan
Mississippian
Upper Mississippian
cultures
Culture
Archaeological
cultures
Archaeological
sites
Human
remains
Miscellaneous
Topics
Lists by state
Lists by insular areas
Lists by associated state
Other areas
Federal
State
Local
Northeast
Midwest
South
West
Territories
Art
Architecture
Botanical
Children's
History
Science and
natural history
Sports
Theatres and
music venues
Transportation
Zoological

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.