Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site is located near Collinsville, Illinois, around eight miles east of St. Louis. The site consists of dozens of prehistoric mounds constructed by American Indians around the time that Leif Ericson’s longships landed in Vinland.
The most prominent feature of these mounds is Monk’s Mound. Monk’s Mound was the largest earthen structure north of central Mexico at the time of its construction. “Begun around A.D. 900 and completed 300 years later,” Gene S. Stuart wrote in his book America’s Ancient Cities (1988), “it has 4 terraces; rises 100 feet; covers some 16 acres with a base measuring approximately 700 by 1,080 feet, and contains about 22 million cubic feet of earth (31).” A large building sat at the summit of the mound.
The Cahokia Mounds were built by a group of people identified by anthropologists as belonging to the Mississippian Culture. Not much is known about them, other than the artifacts and earthen structures they left behind.
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Legends and Lore of Illinois Vol. 2 Digital Edition
Order all 12 issues of the Legends and Lore of Illinois from 2008 in a special digital edition for your favorite e-readers. Places covered in Vol. 2: Archer Cemetery, Sunset Haven, Peoria State Hospital (Bartonville Asylum), Airtight Bridge, University of Illinois, Calvary Cemetery and ‘Seaweed Charlie,’ Lakey’s Creek, Peck Cemetery, Blood’s Point Road, Old Union Cemetery, Hartford Castle, and more! Plus, read letters from our readers, book reviews, ghostly games, and put your knowledge of these locations to the test with challenging trivia questions. Don’t miss these classic issues from the archives of the Legends and Lore of Illinois.
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