Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site

Collinsville, IL
Type: Parks
(618) 346-5160

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The Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in Collinsville, Illinois, just east of St. Louis, Missouri. It preserves the remnants of the largest pre-Columbian settlement north of Mexico, which flourished between the 9th and 15th centuries. At its peak, Cahokia was a bustling urban center with a population estimated at around 20,000 people, making it one of the largest and most complex civilizations in ancient North America.

The focal point of the Cahokia Mounds site is Monk's Mound, a massive earthen pyramid that rises 100 feet above the surrounding landscape. This mound served as the ceremonial and administrative center of the Cahokia civilization and is believed to have been the site of religious ceremonies, political gatherings, and other important events. Visitors can climb to the top of Monk's Mound via a series of wooden staircases and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding area.

In addition to Monk's Mound, the Cahokia Mounds site contains more than 80 other earthen mounds, including burial mounds, platform mounds, and residential mounds. These mounds were built by hand over many generations using baskets and digging sticks and served various purposes, including as burial sites, platforms for buildings, and markers of social and political status.

The Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site also features an interpretive center with exhibits, artifacts, and educational displays that provide insight into the history, culture, and daily life of the Cahokia civilization. Visitors can learn about the architecture, agriculture, trade, and religious beliefs of the ancient inhabitants through interactive exhibits and multimedia presentations.

Throughout the year, the Cahokia Mounds site hosts a variety of events, programs, and guided tours that offer visitors the opportunity to explore the archaeological remains and learn about the rich history of the area. These include archaeology field trips, nature hikes, and cultural festivals that celebrate the heritage and legacy of the Cahokia civilization.

Overall, the Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site is a fascinating and important archaeological site that offers visitors a glimpse into the lives of the ancient peoples who once inhabited the area. With its impressive earthen mounds, informative exhibits, and immersive educational programs, it's a must-visit destination for anyone interested in the history and culture of North America's indigenous peoples.

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Nearby Nature Attractions

Following is a list of other nature attractions found within few miles of Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site. You may also view all nature attractions in Collinsville, Illinois.