Friday, February 28, 2014

Epic Fire Marked 'Beginning of the End' for Ancient Culture of Cahokia, New Digs Suggest

An artist’s rendering depicts Cahokia’s city center at its prime.
 Painting by L. K. Townsend;
 Image Courtesy of the Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site.
September 16, 2013.
Blake de Pastino, of Western Digs, has written an engaging article which reports on recent dig findings in Cahokia, which might show the turning point of Cahokian civilization.

"researchers with the Illinois State Archaeological Survey have discovered a widespread layer of charcoal and burned artifacts among the foundations of ancient structures — evidence of a great and sudden conflagration that consumed perhaps as many as 100 buildings.
While there’s only “circumstantial evidence” as to what caused the fire, the researchers say, what’s even more striking is that the event seems to mark an ominous turning point in Cahokian culture.
The structures destroyed by the fire were never rebuilt, the excavations showed. Meanwhile, other large, important buildings, like distinctive ceremonial “lodges” or houses for local elites, stopped appearing altogether throughout the region. And soon after the fire, a great palisade wall went up around the nearby city center — known to archaeologists as Downtown Cahokia — most likely for protection."

Video Courtesy of Illinois Historic Sites' Youtube Channel.

For more information about Cahokia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, visit Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site's website here.

For more information about UNESCO World Heritage, visit our Frequently Asked Questions, the National Park Service's World Heritage page, or UNESCO's World Heritage page.

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