Cahokia Mounds is the largest pre-Columbian settlement north of Mexico. It was occupied primarily during the Mississippian period (800–1400), when it covered nearly 1,600 ha and included some 120 mounds. It is a striking example of a complex chiefdom society, with many satellite mound centres and numerous outlying hamlets and villages. This agricultural society may have had a population of 10–20,000 at its peak between 1050 and 1150. Primary features at the site include Monks Mound, the largest prehistoric earthwork in the Americas, covering over 5 ha and standing 30 m high.

Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site includes 51 platform, ridgetop, and conical mounds; residential, public, and specialized activity areas; and a section of reconstructed palisade, all of which together defined the limits and internal symmetry of the settlement. Dominating the community was Monks Mound, the largest prehistoric earthen structure in the New World. Constructed in fourteen stages, it covers six hectares and rises in four terraces to a height of 30 meters. The mounds served variously as construction foundations for public buildings and as funerary tumuli. There was also an astronomical observatory, consisting of a circle of wooden posts. Extensive professional excavations have produced evidence of construction methods and the social activities of which the structures are further testimony.

Cahokia Mounds is a National Historic Landmark and a designated site for state protection. It is also one of only 23 UNESCO World Heritage Sites within the United States.

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Founded: 800-1400
Category: Cemeteries, mausoleums and burial places in United States

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4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

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User Reviews

Lucinda Sinco (19 months ago)
This is a great place to visit at any age! The staff and volunteers are extremely helpful and welcoming and full of knowledge about all the artifacts and history of the site. If the weather is good walk the paths and climb Monk's Mound, it is worth every step.
Peter Blattner (19 months ago)
Visitor center has all sorts of info and is beautifully well done. The significance of this location is deep, but it really does feel like just a few hills until you learn more so check that part out!
Adena Gwirtz (19 months ago)
Worth the stop in along the way to St. Louis. Lots of stairs if your going to climb the chiefs mound. Really cool museum and we'll taken care of park. Helped Ohio State do a archaeological dig along the borders. Found city was surrounded by a huge wall
Sarah Rose (20 months ago)
I love this place and the fact that my mom took me here as a kid. I love this place and how it is local! Sightseeing your own little town is the best! Take your family here, go on an adventure and take a breath of fresh air!
chelle belle (21 months ago)
Very cool museum filled with artifacts and information about the Mississippian Indian's. One section has lifelike people showing them working or hunting and huts depicting their sleeping quarters. The grounds surrounding the museum are extensive and include several mounds. The largest mound, Monks Mound, has a stairway and you can climb to the top and look out over everything. Beautiful view but quite the workout to get to the top. There are several picnic areas and a playground on the grounds as well. Great for families, school field trip or even a date!
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