I Spy Cahokia Mounds

Mounds of dirt? Count us in!

Mounds of dirt? Count us in!

The remains of the most sophisticated prehistoric native civilization north of Mexico are preserved at Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site. Within the 2,200-acre tract, located a few miles west of Collinsville, Illinois, lie the archaeological remnants of the central section of the ancient settlement that is today known as Cahokia. (from the Cahokia Mounds website)

The museum was very nice and not busy at all today.

The museum was very nice and not busy at all today.

There was a short movie and various exhibits that surmised the lifestyles of the “Mississippians” (couldn’t they have thought of a more exotic name?!) who inhabited this area/built these mounds. The “Golden Age” of Cahokia was apparently AD 1100-1200.

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So my critique (ever the skeptic) of the above picture is..I doubt they mowed the lawn on those mounds.

Makes me want to go digging for arrowheads/trinkets!

Makes me want to go digging for arrowheads/trinkets!

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The above picture isn’t the greatest, but I was shocked at the scale of Monks Mound (the biggest mound at Cahokia; the green model in the center) in comparison to the Great Pyramid of Cheops (top right). Monks Mound is 14 acres at the base and 100 feet high; the pyramid is taller (481 feet) but 13 acres at the base. Most people can picture an Aztec pyramid (e.g. Pyramid of the Sun in Teotihuacan, Mexico far left) but I would say the Illinois dirt mounds definitely get a lot less fame, right? I guess rocks are more impressive than dirt (to some!). Exhibit B:

A model of "Wood Henge" (like a giant sundial calendar thing)

A model of “Wood Henge” (like a giant sundial calendar thing)

Have you ever heard of wood henge? Didn’t think so! But I bet you’ve heard of the stone version!

Bunny rabbit!

Bunny rabbit!

Better behave Butkus!! hahaha

Better behave Butkus!! hahaha

Acorn squash! That's (hopefully) going to be me in a few weeks...

Winter squash! That’s (hopefully) going to be me in a few weeks…

Right here!

Right here! (though I may wear a shirt while I harvest)

Really cool doors at the visitor center

Really cool doors at the visitor center

And finally, on to the mounds…

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There's one!

There’s one!

And another

And another

You can't really tell from this photo but this was a huge turkey

You can’t really tell from this photo but this was a huge turkey

See all the turkey heads in the distance?

See all the turkey heads in the distance?

Moth

Moth

Two tiered mound

Two tiered mound

Turkey silhouette

Turkey silhouette

Haybales view

Haybales view

The property kind of reminded me of Shaw Nature Preserve

The property kind of reminded me of Shaw Nature Preserve

I was also reminded of that terrifying movie Apocalypto. So we tried to get in touch with the vibes of these ancient grounds…

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Come on kids, let’s pretend you’re being marched up that pyramid to be sacrificed!

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Fun, right?!

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The kids headed up the first round of steps

The kids headed up the first round of steps

This is at the top of Monk's Mound; you can see it is quite vast!

This is at the top of Monk’s Mound; you can see it is quite large.

The view was really great…

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And there you have it…The Great Pyramids of Giza, The temples of the Aztec Empire, Stonehenge…no need to go so far if you’re wanting to see some ancient digs; just check out Cahokia Mounds in Collinsville, Illinois!

6 thoughts on “I Spy Cahokia Mounds

  1. Eliza Waters

    I’ve heard of this place, it’s nice to see photos of it. It is pretty huge. Great post – your humor adds to the visit!
    Love ‘Zilla’s braids, nice work, Mom. :-)

    Reply
    1. Spy Garden Post author

      :) Thanks for the compliments. Will definitely repeat that braid; I am always experimenting but that one is definitely a winner! Cool you have heard of Cahokia. I bet if it would have more spooky, mysterious vibes in the fall/winter. ;)

      Reply

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