Monday, September 6, 2010
After leaving the Japanese Festival (see below) Greenturtle and I stopped at the Cahokia Mounds. Way back when, I used to study history, and I still think that archaeological/historical stuff is interesting. From 700-1400 A.D., there used to be a city of up to 20,000 people at the site, the biggest city north of Mexico at the time. Since they left no written record, there are plenty of questions about their civilization...the most interesting one (for me anyway), being, Why did they build the mounds? The Mississippian culture built mounds across the southeast and midwest, and so little is known about them.
Another thing which is still a mystery is why the civilization vanished after flourishing for so long. At the visitor's center is a display stating several reasons and inviting the viewer to speculate which one might be true. "Where's dependence of fossil fuels and destruction of their habitat by offshore oil drilling?" I demanded. Greenturtle pointed to the choice that stated Over-exploitation of natural resources. "Yeah, I guess that covers it," I conceded.
Besides all of this, I really wanted to check out the pond in front of the visitor's center, because once I found a little blue heron in it. Today, there was no little blue...but I did see a yellow-crowned night heron in it! I think I shall re-name it Life Bird Pond.
It was nice seeing lots of families out enjoying the day, taking their kids to do something educational. Going up the mound was kind of a trudge after walking around the Botanical Gardens all day...but the view was great. So hazy, though... Is that pollution over the city?