I wanted to do this day thread to celebrate and honor the Indigenous peoples of the Americas, and after reading Megara Justice Machine’s excellent write up about the Chaco Canyon Ruins: https://the-avocado.org/2018/11/21/chaco-canyon-ruins/, I’d thought I’d focus briefly on a similar large, Pre-Columbian settlement: Cahokia.
Often called the mound-builders for their building of, you guessed it, large mounds for communal purposes, the Mississippian peoples created the largest urban community in North America. Located outside present day St Louis, Missouri, at the height of Cahokia in the thirteenth century the city-state contained an estimated 20,000-30,000 people. Although half the size of London at the time, no other large scale city would exist in the present-day U.S. until Philadelphia on the eve of the Revolution.
The city itself was made up a several of the afterword mentioned mounds. At the center was the temple, a nearly 10 story high pyramid that loomed over the rest of the area and displayed the power and prestige of the city-state.
Though uncertain as to why, the city declined by the end of the thirteenth century, leaving the people to form more decentralized communities in the surrounding regions. The mounds themselves are still standing today, a monument to a lost city.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Americados!