Lost Limbs Foundation

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Cahokia Mounds

There is a great deal of debate surrounding the Cahokia Mounds of Missouri and the people who established and designed the city. A number of independent investigators claim the Maya settled at the location over a thousand years ago, stretching their reach deep into the northern United States. Historians claim that local tribes (without the influence of other cultures) built the mounds, then for some unknown reason, abandoned the city. Cahokia was the largest and most influential urban settlement in the Mississippian culture which developed advanced societies across much of what is now the Southeastern United States. Cahokia's population at its peak was as large as, or larger than, any European city of that time, and its ancient population would not be surpassed by any city in the United States until about the year 1800. Today, Cahokia Mounds is considered the largest and most complex archaeological site north of the great Pre-Columbian cities in Mexico. This historic park lies in Southern Illinois between East St. Louis and Collinsville. The park covers 2,200 acres or about 3.5 square miles, and contains about 80 mounds, but the ancient city was actually much larger. In its heyday, Cahokia covered about 6 square miles and included about 120 man-made earthen mounds in a wide range of sizes, shapes, and functions. I found an old catalog from the early 1960 with a series of sculptures which were taken from the Cahokia Mounds, and each is remarkable. One piece called the “Birger figurine” was found in a ritual temple, and to my eyes is a classic depiction of a Mayan individual. Unfortunately, none of these figures are in a museum for display, in fact the author mentions they are stored artifacts.
 — Maya in America (USA) (9 photos)