Thursday, November 8, 2012

Coolest Place I Knew Nothing About

If one grew up in St. Louis, one has undoubtedly learned of Cahokia Mounds. I did not and had not. It's quite an amazing place. It was a civilization of Mississipian Native Americans that thrived for about 700 years, with it's peak in the year 1200. During that time, between 15 and 20,000 people lived there. That was actually a larger population than London had at the same time.

Anyway, we went there with the Kindergartners today. It was a great field trip, but we were all very tired by the time it was over. And I'm a little pooped still.

The most unique and recognizable feature of the Cahokia Mounds site is called Monk's Mound. It is 100 feet high and has 156 steps leading to the top.

At the top, the settlement's chief ruler lived and governed his people. The area around this main structure has 120 other mounds upon which other people of the upper classes would have built their homes. While most of the economy was based on agriculture, some families would have focused on tool building and even decorative or spiritual items and traded for food.

Obviously, I learned almost as much as the kids did. And Sophia wants to take Erick back on Saturday. Since we'll have about 59 fewer kids, I might be willing...

Here, Sophia and Emery are looking at a marker. Can you see the faint outline of St. Louis over Emery's right shoulder?

 Here's a closer look at what we could see from the top. It was a little surreal to have the modern in view while surveying the ancient. A humbling slice of reality about our place in time.

Just because they're cute. And once we got into the museum itself, they got a little more difficult to follow and impossible to capture on film...

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