Cahokia Bounds

Decent Essays
Recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization as a World Heritage Site, Cahokia Mounds is located in the current day city of Collinsville, Illinois. Near the Mississippi River, this pre-history site is made of mounds scattered around an area of about Three and a half square miles of land. The park may be large, but the actual city of Cahokia in pre-history spread much further than what the park is recognized as today. Cahokia is recognized by historians as part of the Mississippian culture which groups them with other native civilizations that lived along the Mississippi River who shared architectural styles (like the mounds fount in Cahokia) as well as other attributes like maize based economics and tools…show more content…
Importantly, the Europeans never met the original Cahokia tribe. As National Geographic states, “by 1350—a span of only three centuries—Cahokia was gone” (Romey par 1). Nevertheless, the French in particular have large amounts in relation to Monks Mound or Mound 38. When the French started colonizing in the 17th Century, they lay their claim to the Mississippi River valley. The French were well aware of the Cahokia Mounds at the time, which isn’t a surprise because the actual area of Cahokia carried all the way to the Mississippi River. The name of Monks Mound comes from, “the French Trappist monks who lived on a nearby mound from 1809-1813, and farmed the terraces of the large mound” (Cahokia Mounds Museum Society par 8). Unfortunately, the relation between the Europeans (including the French) and the Natives who resided in the Cahokia area were seemingly hostile. Spanish explorer Hernando DeSoto was said that, “[he] attempted to plant the flag of Castile and Aragon to show conquest, however in reality, DeSoto was probably captured and burnt alive and then thrown into the Mississippi River by the Cahokia Tribesmen” (Barrows par 56). Like many other tribes that lived in the Americas, ultimately disease was the demise for the Natives. The French brought diseases like smallpox and so a large killing of Natives ensued around the area and drastically lowered the…show more content…
When I visited again I gained much more fascination from the site. The area of Collinsville that the site lies in has not much more than a few fast food restaurants and some gas stations. I first arrived at Monk’s Mound and was amazed by the sheer size of the man-made structure. I assumed the mound had eroded over knowing that the mound was so old which would make it even taller during the time it was erected. When I climbed to the top, I could see the metropolitan area of St. Louis Missouri. Being on top of the mound gave the feeling of governing a civilization. I could see many of the other mounds and the people walking to and from the parking lot to make the same journey that I did to be on top of Monk’s Mound. I expected the area surrounding the site to look better than it did. As the mock chief that I was for fifteen minutes, I did not know how to feel about an automotive repair shop at the base of my mound. This simply shows how close the local community today has come to live hand in hand with a World Heritage
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