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08/18/17 Friday night 11 pm est Blog Talk Radio - Night-Light
Of all ancient civilizations in North America, human hands have built no greater earthwork than the Monks Mound near East St. Louis, IL. The Mound Builders statesmanship, ambitious projects and workforce make them of the most important cultures of World history. Monks Mound is situated about a mile from the Mississippi River, just north of East St. Louis, Illinois, in central United States.
The expertise of the ancient engineers that built the mound is shown through a complex layering of materials to build it. Inspection of the construction sequence of Monks Mound reveals that the final size and shape was part of a highly developed plan. All carefully layered stages of construction proceeded quickly as shown by a complete absence of erosion or layers of vegetation found between layers.
The mound consists of more than 2.16 billion pounds of non-local soil types.
Other construction materials used in the mound include limestone slabs, bald cypress and red cedar posts. Use of the limestone slabs in mound construction is important as a chronological marker indicating late Archaic construction (3000 - 1000 BC).
Construction materials for Monks Mound included only colored soil that is not found in the surrounding alluvial floodplain. The location of origin of the colored soil used in the construction of Monks Mound is now being researched. Soils were likely selected for their vivid color and brought in on rafts or on foot from hundreds of miles away. The blue, red, white, black, grey, brown, and orange soils colors were layered in varying thickness and areas throughout the mound’s entire construction. Historian Rick Osmon stated “the Blue soil is very rare and is known to come from Clay County, Indiana and white soil may be gypsum powder, which is found in northern Indiana. Red and orange soils come from southern Appalachian areas.” The energy required to move 43.1 million baskets a great distance construct the mound is staggering.
Perhaps these colored layers contained elaborate earth paintings. The striking colored mound covered with colored painted images would be most appropriate for this type of structure. The paintings may have been similar Hopewell style birdman form or painted images similar to the Birdman tablet found at the site With the destructive excavation methods used, we will never know for sure if the destroyed layers contained imagery that archaeologist refer to as the “Southeastern Ceremonial Complex”.
Formative cultures required vast amounts of energy to labor in mound construction events which was obtained by hunting wildfowl, deer and other animals. Hunting evidence equates to finding spears and projectile points. Local lithic styles have been useful in determining formative phases at Cahokia Mounds. Generally, the projectile styles equate to time periods based on the depths that they were found in excavations. Styles found in the Cahokia Mounds region include Paleo, Archaic, Woodland, and Mississippian. Interestingly, when quantities of projectile points are plotted by time, a trend is shown that indicates cultures flourished and collapsed at least three times throughout the Holocene.
Monk’s Mound is in the ruins of the ancient Native American city of Cahokia in the U.S. state of Illinois. At its height, about 1,000 years ago, Cahokia was home to as many as 15,000 people. The mound was a series of rectangular terraces that reached 10 stories or 30 meters (100 feet) in height, and the area of its base was larger than the Empire State Building in New York City. The structure had a large public building at is apex, perhaps a temple
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