Hey all, some of you may know me from the Overwatch community, but for everyone else, hi! I'm a history major at Towson University, about to graduate any day now (That day happens to be in August.) I've applied to grad school and in the interim, I want to keep my historical research skills sharp.
To that end, I thought I'd start a little thread here to include some the cooler history tidbits I've picked up in my studies and to show people that History is a lot more than just a bunch of dates and famous dead people.
I can't promise I'll update very week, but a Monday History Tidbit of the Week has a nice regular feel to it.
For this inaugural post, I'd like include something I writing about right now for my final archaeology paper, Cahokia.
Did you know that around 1000 CE there was a city in North America larger than Paris and London combined, with a population of at least 10-20k and a possible population (if you count the hinterlands) of 100k? Ever been to St.Louis? That's where Cahokia was and some 68 of the almost 120 mounds are still preserved, with the largest, Monk's Mount 100 feet high and around 1000ft by 800ft in area. There's enough similarity in the construction that many historians and archaeologists think that Cahokia was founded by Mesoamericans that traveled north or at least was planned by Mesoamerican architects. Then around 1300, Cahokia began to become depopulated. While we'res still not sure why, It's possible that a series of floods, droughts. and other nature events made it more difficult to support such a large population. Leaders lost the faith of the people as things continued to worsen and at some point the balance shifted and a mass exodus occurred. The rise of smaller and less prestigious polities known as the Mississippian cultures that existed in the areas around Cahokia are likely due to this exodus. By the time French Jesuits visited the area in the late 15 and early 1600s, Cahokia was a barely remembered grandfather's tale. Nevertheless, the stories the priests collected kept the memory of the city alive until the 1800s where "archaeologists" (treasure hunters) began demolishing the mounds, looking for treasure. Luckily the city of St.Louis stepped in and preserved the rest. So, in short (too late!) consider visiting the first metropolis of North America, Cahokia! =D
Fellow historians; did I get something wrong? Let me know in the comments. Everyone else, what did you think? Pretty neat, right?