Cahokia was of monumental proportions with monumental artistic finds. The inhabitants of this area were of the Middle Mississippian culture, and this early society traded widely around North America, the Gulf region, and even with prehistoric Meso-American groups. The earliest area map of the site was made in 1796. Sometime between the 16th and 17th centuries, the massive village of Cahokia was abandoned, and the inhabitants’ reasons for leaving this profitable cultural and trade region are unknown. This is an extremely important site of human occupation and construction in North American pre-history, and Cahokia experienced dramatic environmental changes before the historic period on the continent. This paper examines the constructed environment of the Cahokian site, cultural artifacts, and research from its early history to the work done in the 1970’s concerning the monumentality and recognition of the ancient ‘lost city’ of Cahokia–an important UNESCO-recorded site that I was fortunate to research and record in the pivotal period of the 1970’s with the assistance of the initial archaeological team.
|Keywords:||Cahokia, Illinois, Man-Made Earthworks, Middle-Mississippian, Indian Culture, Prehistoric Civilization, Cultural Artifacts, North American Trade, ‘Lost City’, UNESCO Site, Late 20th-Century Archaeology|
Associate Professor, Department of Art and Design (Art History), Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, Kentucky, USA