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Posted on Tuesday, April 11 - 2006

"Submitted by Tanagra: Steeped in a rich history, Illinois boasts some very interesting stories from the past. Most accounts begin around the late 1600’s upon the arrival of Joliet and Marquette. However, there is a Native American chronicle that reaches back further into a mysterious past. The myste..."

Submitted by Tanagra: Steeped in a rich history, Illinois boasts some very interesting stories from the past. Most accounts begin around the late 1600’s upon the arrival of Joliet and Marquette. However, there is a Native American chronicle that reaches back further into a mysterious past. The mystery of the mound builders has sparked the interest of people all over the world. Enormous man made mounds and the remnants of an ancient, powerful culture that vanished without a trace opens the door to one of the nation’s largest mysteries. Early European explorers were the first to record their findings of strange, man made mounds of earth that were shaped into distinct designs. These mounds wereenormous, one of them rising 100ft.

high making it the largest man made mound in North America. They also found the evidence of a long, forgotten culture. As they began to excavate, they found amazing artifacts such as stone pipes and tools made from copper and mica. They also found evidence of advanced engineering and city planning within the vast complex of cities and suburbs. The Cahokian civilization was truly massive in scale. At its apex, around approximately 1050AD, the city of Cahokia had in excess of 15,000 residents. There were also numerous suburbs and agricultural centers that emanated out from the city in all directions creating a total regional population of more than 40,000 residents. This would have made Cahokia one of the largest, if not THE largest, metropolis in the entire world during thattime. Historians are baffled as to what could have allowed this explosion in population. The region went from less than 1,000 residents, to more than 40,000 residents in barely more than 100 years. No other cities in the world during this time could support growth of this size due to food shortage, sanitation problems, disease, and other city planning concerns. The mysterious Cahokian culture has somehow managed to master a level of city planning and organization that had not been realized since the time of the Ancient Romans. Their intricate network of suburbs, agricultural and production centers, as well as sophisticated city planning contributed to the rise of Cahokia. Even more of a mystery, though, is the downfall of Cahokia. After only 250 years as a major metropolis, the entire civilization vanished.There ar...


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