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Exploring Cahokia, Ancient Life Near Home

Tuesday, July 11, 2017



This summer, I've been away from the blog and enjoying lots of time with my kids. I planned a calendar of fun outings around St Louis for us so we would keep busy. Yesterday, we took our first family visit to Cahokia Mounds, just across the river in Illinois. I posted my first few video Instastories while we were there.

Cahokia was an ancient city. At its height, it was larger than London and most other European cities.  It is the largest archeological site north of Mexico. People first settled Cahokia around A.D. 400 There were miles of wall around the main part of the city, which enclosed many of the homes, mounds and a big central plaza where people gathered for games, ceremonies and other events. Some of the mounds held large buildings on top of them while others are thought to be burial bounds. Near the city is wood henge, which was thought to be a calendar to track the solstices, equinoxes and growing seasons.  Mound #72 holds the sacrificial remains of 272 people.

The interpretive center at Cahokia has a great museum with artifacts uncovered at the site and displays of what the homes, city and people looked like. Outside of the museum are marks on the ground, outlining walls of homes that were excavated.



Today all that remains of Cahokia to the naked eye are the mounds, wood henge and the pits that were left from digging soil and clay to build the mounds. A few small sections of the original wall have been reconstructed and the original trails and stairway paths have also been reconstructed.

The largest mound is Monks Mound, where the leader of Cahokia lived. It is the only mound with stairs that can be climbed. Monks Mound is about the same size at its base as the pyramid of Giza and is about 100 feet high.  It is the largest earthen structure in the Americas.


It was in the 90s the day we went so I wore my hair in an updo. I tried a new hairstyle inspired by Ann Margret and it worked out so well I'll have to post a tutorial for it soon!

I had this blue top in my closet for a couple of months. It used to be an oversized, kind of frumpy tee shirt with crochet trim down the front. I pulled the trim off and altered the neckline and took it in a bit at the side and now I think it will be one of my favorite shirts. The Cahokia Mounds website recommended practical clothes and comfortable shoes so I wore black capris and flats.


After our visit to the mounds, we drove down the street to Horseshoe Lake for a picnic. Cahokia also has picnic tables on site but I thought the breeze off the lake would help cool us off after our long climb to the top of the mound.




pink vintage scarf- thrifted
pink cat eye glasses- sojos eyewear
blue tee- thrifted
black capris-thrifted
black flats-walmart
backpack- Herschel

2 Responses to “Exploring Cahokia, Ancient Life Near Home”

  1. I cannot wait to see that tutorial. That updo is adorable!!! xox

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