October 19, 2010 § 6 Comments

Cool…as in “Cahokia.”

Last weekend, we visited the Mounds.
This is Monks Mound.
It is one of the Cahokia Mounds, found in Illinois, just east of the Mississippi and across from St. Louis.
It was built in 900 – 1200 by the Misssissippian tribe who carried backpack basket filled with dirt to heap, one atop the other, to create (build) the mound, a high and holy place. Assumedly, this one, the highest of the more than 50 mounds in the 30-acre area, was home and “reigning” place of the high chief of the tribe.

These are the stairs to the top of Monks Mound. It’s an easy climb. There are impactful views from the top.

Like this one.
It’s St. Louis in the (rather smoggy) distance.

The “cool” of the place is the mystery that surrounds it.
Yes, some things have been discovered as a result of intense archaeological efforts.
But overall, the Mississippians were not writers or recorders. Their civilization disappeared after about 400 years. The reason is unkown, though specialists refer to various obvious reasons such as societal unrest, illness, or failure and exhaustion of the land to continue to produce the chief sustenance – corn.

Some artifacts were discovered but other than piecing together some general info about the tribe, a great deal remains unknown. 

Which is really kinda cool.


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§ 6 Responses to cool…Mississippians

  • shoreacres says:

    Equally cool: the mound-builders of the Mississippian period continue to hover in the background of quite recent history. The biggest levee break of the Great Flood of 1927 took place at Mound Landing, MS, an area filled with mounds chronologically related to the one you visited.

    When I made my visit to Mississippi, I knew nothing of the mounds before going – I was steeped in the music and literature. Now, the history of the floods, the river and the mounds are on the agenda for another visit!

    Wonderful photos, too – whetting my appetite, you are!

  • jeanie says:

    that IS mysterious — and beautiful! Sounds like a wonderful weekend and good time had by all! Love the view! Someday…

  • mandy says:

    There’s something sort of sacred about mounds isn’t there? There are some in this area that are believed to be burial mounds. I’m always impressed when driving past them. What a great view of St. Louis yours offers you.

  • typehype says:

    Wow, I saw mounds like these in Ohio, when I first drove cross-country to CA. So magical. In a tree, at the foot of one of them, tiny bundles of jou-jou, wrapped in red cloth and bound by jute, were tied to the branches. I was told they’d been placed there by Native Americans as offerings.

  • Ruth says:

    I do love the mystery of sacred places like this.

    One basket at a time . . . wow.

  • that sounds fascinating, it would be intriguing to discover more about that group of people and their settlements

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