Case Study: Cahokia Mounds

Mound is a flat top dirt pyramid which originally took between 15 and 20 billion pounds of soil to construct. This mound is bigger than and of the three great pyramids in Gaza, Egypt. Today, Monks Mound has four distinct terraces. It is believed that the building at the summit was the residence for the leader of Iacocca. At the top of Monks Mound, a ruler could see nearly all of Iacocca. It would also be considered a symbol of authority, the governing ruler towering above all of the rest of the city. The amount of man hours needed to construct such a structure must have men astronomical.

It Is believed that Monks Mound was constructed In various phases over a two to three hundred period. The Coolants did not have a written language to accompany their spoken one. By the time European settlers arrived In America, Iacocca was all but deserted. The name for Monks Mound comes from the French monks who settled there in the late 17th and 18th centuries. Without any record keeping, it is hard for some to believe that Iacocca possessed an organized government. Writing is generally seen as a prerequisite to the kind of record keeping added for an organized government.

Iacocca was an agricultural state and it crumbled nearly 700 years ago. One possible reason is malnutrition. Scansion’s diets lacked protein. Iacocca Is believed to not have had many domestic animals so it would have been much harder for them to obtain sources of protein. Their main source of protein was fishing, though they most likely would have dwindled down that resource base with their estimated population size. Woodened, as It stands today In Iacocca, though Just a reconstruction, Is one of he Woodened circles that has been located. The posts used to construct a Woodened were red cedar.

The Woodened marked as circle 3 that has been reconstructed consists of 48 red cedar posts and has a 410 foot diameter. There is a center post in the middle. Archaeologist Dry. Warren Witty discovered the Woodenness when he was studying excavation maps and he noticed there were pits that seemed to be arranged in arcs and circles. He surmised that they were used as calendars because if posts were in the pits they would line up with the rising of the UN certain times of the year. These calendars were built over a hundred years, showing again like Monks Mound, how much time and effort Occasions put Into their city.

This shows Just how sophisticated their society was. Of the 5 circles/arcs that have been located, the fifth one seems to be Incomplete. It has pits for only 12 posts along the eastern sunrise arc and to complete the circle, It should have 72. A reason for this could be that there was a lack of red timber to construct more of the windowpane POS TTS. Another reason cool a nave Eden Tanat only ten essential eastern unripe arc was used for sunrise sightings and the full circle arrangement was no longer necessary. In the middle of the Woodenness, there would have been a center post.

This was most likely used for observation. It is likely that a sun priest stood there on a raised platform. The size and location of the circles and the number of posts was constantly changed. The circles mostly overlapped, besides circle one which was superimposed by the later built mound 44. There are only three posts in the circles that are essential as seasonal markers–those marking the first days of the mummer and winter solstices and the one halfway between marking the days of the spring and fall equinoxes.

The other posts between the solstice posts could have marked special festival dates related to the agricultural or ceremonial cycle. The other posts would have no function other then to complete the circle and create an enclosed space that was sacred in which to hold Woodened ceremonies. Although rather small and unimpressive, mound 72 has provided important information about the people that inhabited Iacocca over a millennia ago. The mound is ridge top and the sides slope upward and come to a crest at the top of the mound.

Mound 72 consists of three smaller mounds in its inner structure. Nearly three hundred burials were found in those mounds. Extensive burial activity is evident in these mounds. There are shallow to deep pits. After the burial activity was finished, the three primary mounds were covered in a final capping of earth shaped into a ridge top mound. This would come to be known as mount 72. One important burial in the mound was a man in his ass who is believed to be an early leader of Iacocca.

His body was discovered lying on a bird-shaped platform of 20,000 marine shell beads, which could show that Iacocca valued the symbol of a bird spiritually and ceremonially. (Another example of this would be the “Bird-Man” tablet which has a man dressed in eagle regalia on one side. ) Another male was buried beneath him and six other surrounding them. These people were most likely there to accompany him to the afterlife. This shows a complex attitude towards life after death such as that of the Egyptians, that one can bring things and other people with them.

The grave cache was also filled with various material belongings. The variety and types of materials in the grave show how powerful and important this man must have been to have all these people and materials buried with him. Other burials in the mound show less affection. There were mass burials indicating possible sacrifices. Some seemed to have been Just tossed into a bit with no care, and others were brought in on stretchers. This differential burial treatment between these two groups and others in the mound suggests that Iacocca was a socially stratified society.


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