Skip to comments.The First US City Was Full of Immigrants
Posted on 03/09/2014 4:20:44 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
A sprawling city in the heartland of the United States was a cultural melting pot hundreds of years before Europeans ever set foot in North America.
A study of dozens of teeth found at Cahokia, an ancient metropolis near modern-day St. Louis, shows that immigrants moved to the city from across the Midwest and perhaps as far away as the Great Lakes and Gulf Coast regions.
Cahokia rose to prominence around A.D. 1050, when it underwent what some archaeologists call a cultural Big Bang.
"All of a sudden, there's a giant rise in the size of the site," said study researcher Philip Slater, a doctoral candidate at the University of Illinois.
Countryside settlements were abandoned in favor of Cahokia's precincts along the Mississippi River. By A.D. 1100, as many as 20,000 people were living in an area covering 5.5 square miles (14.5 square kilometers), said Thomas Emerson, the director of the Illinois State Archaeological Survey.
"It contained more than two hundred earthen mounds, including the largest mound in North America, Monks Mound," Emerson told Live Science in an email. "Many of these mounds were topped by temples or the houses of the elites and were arranged around large ceremonial plazas where great community political, social and religious events were held."
(Excerpt) Read more at livescience.com ...
The pre-Columbian settlement at Cahokia was the largest city in North America north of Mexico, with as many as 20,000 people living there at its peak. Credit: Painting by Lloyd K. Townsend. Courtesy of the Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site, Illinois.
Last I checked, the Great Lakes and Gulf Coast were mostly in the U.S. Did some Aztecs wander in?
Nevermind you. Don’t you know we’re trying to celebrate ‘diversity’ in U.S. history here? /s
That “pyramids and plaza” look to the artist’s conception drawing is evocative of PreColumbian Mexico and Central America, and the culture appears to have spread up the Mississippi; furthermore, two-way trade of goods over thousands of miles has been documented in recent decades. However, piling up dirt results in a pyramid-like pile of dirt, so...
They were all immigrants who came over the Siberian land bridge 20,000 years ago.
Aztalan is a State Park near Lake Mills, WI. Some archeologists argue that the population moved from WI to Mexico City where they became the Aztecs. IOW, migration was the opposite direction of what we generally were taught — north to south.
See #7. Some archeologist argue that the migration went the opposite direction — from WI to Mississipi to Mexico City.
There was a trade route that extended all along the Mississippi and reached down into Nahuatl and Aztec areas. The ‘Moundbuilders’ carried on extensive trade, and were at least culturally influenced by the Mesoamerican civilizations. You can drive a nice chunk of this ancient trade route along the Natchez Trace in the south. I like it, my wife finds it monotonous and foreboding.
It's frustrating and tantalizing to realize there was a flourishing and sophisticated culture in that region but without a written language or permanent structures we know so little about it.
I’d argue that it didn’t move either way; but if I had to argue one against the other, I’d go with the south to north idea, based on the simple fact that the ruins there are older, in fact, much older. The Aztecs were relatively late, and their language was/is related to Navaho, but the Navaho didn’t move south, they moved north.