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The Rise and Fall of Cahokia

Posted by Failed Success on 03/31/06 at 05:44 PM

Cahokia MoundsThe city that history forgot

Steeped in a rich history, Illinois boasts some very interesting stories from the past. Most accounts begin around the late 1600’s upon the arrival of Joliet and Marquette.

However, there is a Native American chronicle that reaches back further into a mysterious past. The mystery of the mound builders has sparked the interest of people all over the world. Enormous man made mounds and the remnants of an ancient, powerful culture that vanished without a trace opens the door to one of the nation’s largest mysteries.

Early European explorers were the first to record their findings of strange, man made mounds of earth that were shaped into distinct designs. These mounds were enormous, one of them rising 100ft. high making it the largest man made mound in North America. They also found the evidence of a long, forgotten culture. As they began to excavate, they found amazing artifacts such as stone pipes and tools made from copper and mica. They also found evidence of advanced engineering and city planning within the vast complex of cities and suburbs.

Cahokia MoundsThe Cahokian civilization was truly massive in scale. At its apex, around approximately 1050AD, the city of Cahokia had in excess of 15,000 residents. There were also numerous suburbs and agricultural centers that emanated out from the city in all directions creating a total regional population of more than 40,000 residents. This would have made Cahokia one of the largest, if not THE largest, metropolis in the entire world during that time.

Historians are baffled as to what could have allowed this explosion in population. The region went from less than 1,000 residents, to more than 40,000 residents in barely more than 100 years. No other cities in the world during this time could support growth of this size due to food shortage, sanitation problems, disease, and other city planning concerns.

The mysterious Cahokian culture has somehow managed to master a level of city planning and organization that had not been realized since the time of the Ancient Romans. Their intricate network of suburbs, agricultural and production centers, as well as sophisticated city planning contributed to the rise of Cahokia.

Even more of a mystery, though, is the downfall of Cahokia. After only 250 years as a major metropolis, the entire civilization vanished. There are many theories as to the downfall of the Cahokian society. Theories like changing climate due to a “Little Ice Age” or a breakdown in civic structure due to war and competing factions are used to explain this mystery. But many feel that there is another reason for the Cahokians dramatic rise and fall, an alien reason. What follows are speculations based on stories passed down through the generations, hearsay, and good old fashioned gossip.

The BeingsLegend has it that around 720AD the struggling Cahokian tribes, who were made up of many other tribes including the Illiniwek Indians, were in danger of being wiped out due to famine and disease. On the brink of their collapse, they were visited by numerous robed beings from the sky. These beings offered them the knowledge and technology to save their civilization from extinction, as well as allow them to prosper and become one of the most powerful civilizations in the world.

But in 500 years, the beings vowed to return to the region at which time they would collect a payment in return for their generosity in the form of all of the Cahokian’s wealth and riches, as well as all of the Cahokian children under the age of 16. The Cahokians accepted these terms and proceeded to use the knowledge and tools provided by these beings to build an amazing and powerful society.

As 500 years passed, the Cahokians were now Gods among men. They were the most progressive and advanced civilization in the world. The “pact” made by their ancestors with the beings had long been forgotten or attributed to folktales.

Then, the Cahokians were startled as the ground began to shake and sky rained fire. Hundreds of robed beings appeared from the sky on the outskirts of the city. They explained that 500 years had passed and they had now come to collect what was theirs. The Cahokians were appalled at these demands and refused to give up their children or their riches. Believing themselves to be greater than Gods, the Cahokians rose up against the beings and fought them.

Scores of Cahokian soldiers marched into battle against the beings, which had now sent down thousands of their own troops to attack the city. The Cahokians were no match for the advanced weapons and technology possessed by the beings. As the attackers fought their way through waves of reinforcements and marched towards the city gates, the leaders of Cahokia knew that their only hope was to turn to a super weapon they had developed under the guidance of the “Great Spirits”.

Cahokia MoundsUsing the mounds they had built as control towers, all of the spiritual leaders and citizens of Cahokia focused their psychic energy against the attackers. Using their minds, they projected thoughts of doom against the beings and the psychic energy built up in the mounds. The ground began to shake violently until, as the attackers reached the gates of the city, the mounds let loose a powerful psychic shockwave that emanated out from the city in all directions. The energy was so overwhelming that the shockwave killed not only the attackers, but all of the Cahokian civilization as well. Buildings crumbled to dust from the power of this attack and all evidence of the Cahokians and the attackers was wiped away, leaving only the giant mounds of earth they had constructed. Or something like that anyway.

To this day, visitors can come to Cahokia, IL and see the remnants of the ancient mounds and learn all about this mysterious ancient culture that destroyed themselves. Some even believe that they can still feel the psychic energy in the air when they are near this city that history forgot.

Learn more about the Cahokian culture and Cahokia Mounds:

The Official Cahokia Mounds Site
Illinois Historic Preservation Agency Cahokia Mounds
Wikipedia Cahokia

Sponsored by: CookevilleThrive.com

Update:
The wonderfully interesting Mysterious Universe Podcast from SOH Radio featured the “Rise and Fall of Cahokia” story on one of their recent shows. If you are a fan of interesting and mysterious phenomenon, you are sure to enjoy their high quality podcasts. 

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  1. This story is so full of crap.

    The truth is....Cahokia was made up in the way of the medicine wheel.

    you had 4 nations...the east, west, north, and south nations.....in the middle was the leading class......in the very middle of the city on amound was the chief’s house.

    Everything is the world has four directions..and life completes it’s circle by the 4 directions.....anyhting which effects any one of the 4 directions effects all of the other directions.

    You can find the people of Cahokia by the Mound builders of the SE.

    Originally Cahokia was ran by the women aka clan mothers.  everything was fine...but then certain groups got mad because of the women’s control...so the groups started arguing on how cahokia should be ran.  This brought about the 4 nations breaking apart and going their own way and abandoning Cahokia.  each of the 4 nations had their own langauage with one universal language.  Because of the Fall of Cahokia the iroqious and Siouan nations became enemies......this is also part of the resaon why the East coast siouans (Saponi and Catawba nations) split apart from the Dakota...the Dakota went west and the Eastern Siouans went east....from the Dakota became Lakota and Nakota.  From the Eastern siouans became Catawba and Monacan (later becoming known universally Saponi).  Then you also had the Choctaw and Creeks and various other nations here and there.

    That was the true proven story of my Cahokian people.....there was no aliens or anything like that.

    Joseph “Nanmankoi” Newman
    of the Manahoac Saponi Mattamuskeet Nation

    Posted by Cahokian Descendant  on  11/03/08  at  08:17 AM
  2. So how did they fail?

    Posted by Lily  on  08/29/08  at  12:51 PM
  3. How long time should pass until western people realize that people with different color are also smart
    enough to build a big ancient city!
    Alien? Huh. Were Apollo 11 or Effiel Tower built by Alien???  All alien-hypothesis regarding ancient
    “non-western” culture are based on the prejudice/assumption that people of other culture are not smarter than western people.

    Posted by Jaeweon Lee  on  10/31/06  at  10:34 PM
  4. Great website! Bookmarked! I am impressed at your work!

    Posted by barrycmster  on  05/14/06  at  12:19 PM
  5. Cahokia Mounds aren’t in Cahokia, IL. They’re about 5 miles away—closer to Collinsville. I find visiting the mounds to be a spiritual way to connect with the past.

    Posted by Craig Buchek  on  04/17/06  at  09:34 AM
  6. I have been to these mounds, and smaller ones in southern Ohio.  Both places make the small hairs stand on end. Not in a a spooky way but that a presence is watching all.

    Posted by Marcus  on  04/11/06  at  05:08 PM
  7. I live near Cahokia, IL and people around here do believe that there is some sort of psychic or supernatural presence at the mounds. I guess its the whole ancient Indian burial ground thing

    Posted by i was there you know  on  04/04/06  at  01:15 PM
  8. I always knew that aliens had to be involved in many of the great disappearances of cultures throughout history.

    Posted by starkillr80  on  04/02/06  at  10:17 PM