Cahokia Mounds, some 13 km north-east of St Louis, Missouri, is the largest pre-Columbian settlement north of Mexico. It was occupied primarily during the Mississippian period (800–1400), when it covered nearly 1,600 ha and included some 120 mounds. It is a striking example of a complex chiefdom society, with many satellite mound centres and numerous outlying hamlets and villages. This agricultural society may have had a population of 10–20,000 at its peak between 1050 and 1150. Primary features at the site include Monks Mound, the largest prehistoric earthwork in the Americas, covering over 5 ha and standing 30 m high.

UNESCO World Heritage Sites / NPS World Heritage Sites

Illinois Historic Preservation Agency

"Ancient Cahokia: Metropolitan Life on the Mississippi" / Washington Post

In 1982 UNESCO declared Cahokia Mounds a World Heritage Site, one of only a handful located in the United States. In 1989 the state of Illinois opened an $8.2 million Interpretative Center. In 2000 people have taken to driving their off-road vehicles on the mounds. The Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, which manages the site, promises to beef up security. (161-62)

"At Home in Illinois: Presence of Chief Illiniwek, Absence of Native Americans" (2001)
David Prochaska