The Cahokia were members of the Illinois, a group of approximately twelve Algonquian-speaking tribes who occupied areas of present Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, and Arkansas.
This culture arose in the Mississippi Valley, in what is now Illinois, about 700 A.D. and withered away about a century before Columbus reached America. The ancient civilization’s massive remains stand as one of the best-kept archaeological secrets in the country. Welcome to the city of Cahokia, population 15,000.
Cahokia became the most important center for the people known today as Mississippians. Their settlements ranged across what is now the Midwest, Eastern, and Southeastern United States. Cahokia was located in a strategic position near the confluence of the Mississippi, Missouri, and Illinois Rivers.
Founded in 1699 by Quebec missionaries and named for a tribe of Illinois Indians (Cahokia, meaning “Wild Geese”), it was the first permanent European settlement in Illinois and became a centre of French influence in the upper Mississippi River valley.
The Cahokia were an Algonquian-speaking Native American tribe and member of the Illinois Confederation; their territory was in what is now the Midwest of the United States in North America.
The name “Cahokia” is from an aboriginal people who lived in the area during the 17th century. Cultural finds from the city include evidence of a popular game called “Chunkey” and a caffeine loaded drink.
Where was Cahokia located, and how was it important to the Hopewell peoples? What did archaeologists find at the site? It was located in Illinois and the hopewell people built mounds of dirt for ceremonies and tombs. Its importance is a burial site for the Hopewell people.
Covering more than 2,000 acres, Cahokia is the most sophisticated prehistoric native civilization north of Mexico. Best known for large, man-made earthen structures, the city of Cahokia was inhabited from about A.D. 700 to 1400. Agricultural fields and a number of smaller villages surrounded and supplied the city.
Now an archaeologist has likely ruled out one hypothesis for Cahokia’s demise: that flooding caused by the overharvesting of timber made the area increasingly uninhabitable. “Cahokia was the most densely populated area in North America prior to European contact,” she says.
The Cahokia Mounds were discovered by French explorers in the 1600s. At the time they were inhabited by the Cahokia people, hence the mounds received their name. Since then the mounds have been frequently excavated. Excavations in the last decade have shown the site to have had a copper workshop.
Choctaw, North American Indian tribe of Muskogean linguistic stock that traditionally lived in what is now southeastern Mississippi. The Choctaw dialect is very similar to that of the Chickasaw, and there is evidence that they are a branch of the latter tribe.
The largest mound at the Cahokia site, the largest man-made earthen mound in the North American continent, is Monks Mound (Mound 38). It received its name from the group of Trappist Monks who lived on one of the nearby mounds. The Monks never lived on the biggest mound but gardened its first terrace and nearby areas.