Giant pyramids? Human Sacrifice? Class struggle, environmental degradation and the ultimate collapse of a great North American civilization? It sounds like the tale of the Maya – but it turns out to be that of Cahokia, a great city which achieved greatness in the Mississippi river valley during the 1200’s. Within a span of two centuries, it arose, it flourished and it disappeared.
I’m sad to say that before reading this book review in Salon.com I had never heard of Cahokia or had any hints that any pyramid-building civilization had arisen within what is now US territory. It’s a fascinating concept, and I would love to read the book (Cahokia: Ancient America’s Great City on the Mississippi).
I’m a little perplexed as to why I’ve never heard about Cahokia, and any similar sites that might exist. According to the book review: “There are several mound complexes in the Deep South that predate the time of Christ, and one in Louisiana has been dated to 3,400 B.C., well before the building of the Egyptian or Maya pyramids.” Do “we” know anything about those civilizations? Are children learning about them at school? (I know I wasn’t twenty+ years ago).
Anyway, I’ll get the book (not available at our public library) and tell you later what I think 🙂