Monday, 26 August 2013

Ancient Indian Mounds

Cahokia Mounds are not too far a away and since the kids and I are beginning to explore early America history we decided to drive to take a look at the particular part of early Native American History.  According to their brochure Cahokia Mounds is one of the largest prehistoric Indian sites north of Mexico.  This site was first settled around AD 700 and developed into a highly structured community with a population of 10-20,000 people at its height.  Around AD 1200 the population began to decline and by the late 1300's it was essentially abandoned but the great mounds are still present today.  The have a very impressive visitor center and we spent nearly 4 hours there!

THey had a very interesting replica of a village 

Axe head that have been found in the area 

Arrow heads

There was a description on how people tattooed themselves, that had to hurt!

Different ways of tattooing the faces

I thought this was very interesting hard to believe we had something bigger than London, maybe I lived there too long:)

Types of food they would have eaten
 There were some recipes out that the Indian might have used...we picked these two to make at home in the next few weeks.

A burial site was found and this is the replica of it

bone sewing needles

rope work

How they made bowls with clay using  the coil methods

making a bowl out of a piece of wood and the many stages.

 After visiting the Center we went outside to see one of the mounds and climbed it
It doesn't look to big from the side

It is built on two layers and 120-130 steps later we made it to the top!

It is believe the Chieftain live on the top of the mound

Just down the road is a Woodhenge that the Indians used to tell seasons.  Their were a total of five in this area but this is the only one represented.  It is believe that that it could be seen at one point by the mound my family climb and the chieftain and his priest could tell when the equinox or solstice would come and they would hold special ceremonies

The white strip on the poles tells where the sun rises for either the equinox or the solstice.

The center pole which was hand cut using a stone tool and painted red ochre just like it would have been years ago.  I should also mention that during the period of these individuals red cedar trees grow abundantly in this area.  They no longer do
There were several short films in the visitor center explaining how they believe things were built or worked...all were fascinating to watch.


  1. Lots of interesting stuff! We have so much Native American artwork and what not around here that I never go to the Native American museums around here, but I really should. There is one on an island here that is supposedly impressive and they serve a traditional dinner, but I keep imagining how I'd feel if we got there and wanted to leave for some reason and couldn't leave for hours, due needing to take the boat home with everyone else and so I chicken out every time.

  2. That's interesting and kind of like the burial mounds of the Celts and the Scythians.

  3. That was an awesome adventure. I think you are going to enjoy the states again. I loved this one and learned a lot. It is a tour I would love to do sometime. Our Book of Mormon which we believe is the history of the Ancient American Native Americans is so full of the history of these people. There civilization started in 600 BC and spread from South to North America. I am fascinated with the history of the Native Americans.
    Blessings and hugs!

  4. I always find it so interesting to learn about how the native Americans lived...I enjoyed your pictures, thanks for sharing:)