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Did a Mega-Flood Doom Ancient American City of Cahokia?
National Geographic ^ | October 31, 2013 | Glenn Hodges

Posted on 03/09/2014 4:33:46 PM PDT by SunkenCiv

One thousand years ago, on a floodplain of the Mississippi River near modern-day St. Louis, the massive Native American city known today as Cahokia sprang suddenly into existence. Three hundred years later it was virtually deserted...

While analyzing cores from Horseshoe Lake, an oxbow lake that separated from the Mississippi River some 1,700 years ago, Munoz's team discovered a layer of silty clay 19 centimeters (7.5 inches) thick deposited by a massive ancient flood.

It's unlikely that the ancient floodwaters were high enough to inundate the ten-story mound at Cahokia's center, a structure now called Monk's Mound... But a flood of such magnitude would have devastated croplands and residential areas, and may have made it impossible for a population numbering as many as 15,000 to continue inhabiting the area...

Analysis of pollen deposits in the sediment cores from Horseshoe Lake shows an intensification of farming, accompanied by rapid deforestation, starting around 450..., with corn cultivation peaking between 900 and 1200... Then the cores reveal the flood event, followed by a decline in corn cultivation. By 1350..., the pollen record shows, agriculture there had essentially ceased.

Munoz, a geographer who specializes in the study of pollen records, noticed that very little pollen research had been done in the American Southeast, where the Mississippian culture flourished. "And we didn't really have any studies outside big archaeological sites," he said. So when he saw Horseshoe Lake right next to Cahokia, he thought it was worth a shot...

But he had no idea they might find such a big piece of the puzzle. "When we realized we were looking at a flood, and that it fell right at this key time in Cahokia's history, it was very exciting."

(Excerpt) Read more at news.nationalgeographic.com ...


TOPICS: History; Science; Travel
KEYWORDS: cahokia; fauxiantrolls; godsgravesglyphs; illinois; mississippian
Mississippians

1 posted on 03/09/2014 4:33:46 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
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To: Renfield; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; decimon; 1010RD; 21twelve; 24Karet; ...

2 posted on 03/09/2014 4:34:33 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: SunkenCiv

New Madrid fault?


3 posted on 03/09/2014 4:36:47 PM PDT by Darren McCarty (Abortion - legalized murder for convenience)
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To: Darren McCarty

Not Bush?


4 posted on 03/09/2014 4:39:25 PM PDT by ClearCase_guy
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To: Darren McCarty

Knocked MY teepee down.


5 posted on 03/09/2014 4:39:26 PM PDT by UnbelievingScumOnTheOtherSide (HELL, NO! BE UNGOVERNABLE! --- ISLAM DELENDA EST)
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To: SunkenCiv

At its heyday, Cahokia was much closer to the meandering river. A bad flood could have been a problem but I think it would be like today...... a known problem

The old river courses are well mapped and certainly not where the river is today. A study of the maps would indicate if the old river bed was within the city.


6 posted on 03/09/2014 4:40:10 PM PDT by bert ((K.E. N.P. N.C. +12 ..... History is a process, not an event)
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To: SunkenCiv

A big flood would certainly cause the population to scatter. Plus there’s the possibility of causing famine due to the loss of crops and cropland.


7 posted on 03/09/2014 4:42:56 PM PDT by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: Darren McCarty; ClearCase_guy; UnbelievingScumOnTheOtherSide; bert

The fact that there wasn’t any oral tradition about what happened there, despite it not being a terrifically long time before European settlement, mitigates in favor of the idea that humans make the same mistakes and fail to remember or learn from the mistakes of others. :’)


8 posted on 03/09/2014 4:43:57 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: SunkenCiv

It’s an interesting civilization — and seems somewhat similar to the Maya.

The big question isn’t so much why it collapsed (all civilization do eventually) — but why it wasn’t eventually replaced with something at least as advanced.


9 posted on 03/09/2014 4:49:09 PM PDT by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both.)
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To: SunkenCiv

We grow the bulk of our food in a desert today and the grains that we grow across the plains and midwest are most susceptible to destruction due to cold (Think little ice age).

We should be diversified in both region and the crops we grow.


10 posted on 03/09/2014 4:50:50 PM PDT by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: SunkenCiv

Didn’t we see a post about there being a layer of ash at Cahokia


11 posted on 03/09/2014 4:54:46 PM PDT by ckilmer
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To: SunkenCiv

The last post at freerepublic suggested that fire brought down Cahokia

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

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/chat/3128274/posts


12 posted on 03/09/2014 4:57:03 PM PDT by ckilmer
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To: ckilmer
It burned down, fell over, and *then* sank into the swamp. Epic Fire Marked ‘Beginning of the End’ for Ancient Culture of Cahokia, New Digs Suggest
13 posted on 03/09/2014 4:58:01 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: ClearCase_guy

The result of the pre-cursor to the Chicago political machine that spawned bh0


14 posted on 03/09/2014 4:58:25 PM PDT by GreyFriar (Spearhead - 3rd Armored Division 75-78 & 83-87)
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To: cripplecreek

The world is one big-assed garden now; the main impediment to agriculture overall is the price of petroleum fuels.


15 posted on 03/09/2014 4:59:15 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: SunkenCiv

The world is one big-assed garden now; the main impediment to agriculture overall is the price of petroleum fuels.
.................
the primary impediment to turning the deserts green is the price of electricity.

I think that collapsing both electricity and petroleum fuel costs is being targeted over the next 15 years.

In any case, that’s what has to happen in order for there to be a successful 21st century—something that everyone gets.

Bill Gates talked about the necessity of collapsing electricity costs to at least 1/4 current cheapest coal/gas electrical generation costs back at at Ted conference back in 2010—because the the consequence of not doing so would cause terrible problems. (He said it would be impossible to do long term thinking if energy costs were not reduced.)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JaF-fq2Zn7I


16 posted on 03/09/2014 5:09:13 PM PDT by ckilmer
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To: ckilmer

The primary impediment to turning the deserts green is political. Electricity has nothing to do with it. TEDS is just another leftist rant forum, so it figures that “Anopheles” Bill Gates would rant there.


17 posted on 03/09/2014 5:18:08 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: SunkenCiv

Still, it’s interesting to note that Gates’ goal is the exact opposite of obama’s with regards to electricity costs...


18 posted on 03/09/2014 5:37:53 PM PDT by null and void ( Obama is Law-Less because Republican "leaders" are BALL-LESS!!)
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To: SunkenCiv
the massive Native American city known today as Cahokia sprang suddenly into existence. Three hundred years later it was virtually deserted...

Detroit is about 300 years old and it's lost over 60% of its peak 1950s population as sane people continue to flee from it. Destroying a city doesn't always require a natural disaster. Humans can do a great job of it on their own.

19 posted on 03/09/2014 5:39:21 PM PDT by Bernard Marx
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To: ckilmer

Well the flood would have been real useful..... : )


20 posted on 03/09/2014 7:43:49 PM PDT by minnesota_bound
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To: SunkenCiv

I wonder if an earthquake on the New Madrid fault triggered a disturbance in the Mississippi River causing a flood.


21 posted on 03/09/2014 7:44:06 PM PDT by SuziQ
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To: SunkenCiv

disagree. primary impediment to turning the deserts green is the cost of desalinizing and transporting desalinated water inland from desert coasts.


22 posted on 03/09/2014 8:08:05 PM PDT by ckilmer
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To: BenLurkin
The big question isn’t so much why it collapsed (all civilization do eventually) — but why it wasn’t eventually replaced with something at least as advanced.

No flood insurance.
23 posted on 03/09/2014 10:47:22 PM PDT by clearcarbon
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To: SunkenCiv

The big problem I see is future increases in electricity costs as the lefties work to destroy the coal industry and coal fired generators. And the anti-fracking Luddites want to reverse the expansion of the natural gas industry.


24 posted on 03/10/2014 1:14:51 PM PDT by colorado tanker
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To: SunkenCiv

Some interesting info on the 1993 flood. http://www.nwrfc.noaa.gov/floods/papers/oh_2/great.htm


25 posted on 03/10/2014 2:29:54 PM PDT by EVO X
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To: EVO X

Thanks EVO X.


26 posted on 03/10/2014 4:36:20 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: ckilmer

Assuming it’s a worthwhile goal, the cost-cutting to take place will be in that expense.


27 posted on 03/10/2014 4:37:32 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: SuziQ

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/chat/3131394/posts?page=25#25


28 posted on 03/10/2014 4:38:21 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: colorado tanker

The coal industry is getting closer to the implosion point, thanks to Slick and Zero.


29 posted on 03/10/2014 5:24:46 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: Bernard Marx

Detroit started to bleed in the 1960s, after the late 1950s auto industry peak (first 10 million vehicle year, and the last one for a long while), followed by the riots, white flight, and the disaster that was Coleman Young.

Cahokia got flooded out, and the flood killed the crops in the field. It never recovered.


30 posted on 03/10/2014 5:30:39 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: SunkenCiv
Yes, I read -- and understood -- the original Cahokia article. And I researched Detroit's decline out of strict habit.

Maybe my point was a bit too abstract. Humans don't learn from past natural disasters (witness Fukushima where ancient stone monuments on the hillsides warn not to build below their elevation because of tsunami danger.)

Neither do they learn from past political and cultural folly. Detroit is just one example out of of hundreds in which human greed/vanity/stupidity/whatever have led to severe decline and often destruction. Neither do cultures as a whole learn much from the past. Right now I'm getting a strong sense of 1930s deja vu all over again.

31 posted on 03/10/2014 7:04:39 PM PDT by Bernard Marx
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