It's time to introduce a mystery from right here in Missouri. Here's the question: what happened to the Mississippian People? I mean, really, where did they go?
Never heard of the Mississippian People? It's not your fault; they were in our state long before you were born. In fact, the Mississippian People, known also as the Mound Builders, were here before the Indians, also known as Native Americans.
The Mound Builders lived, as you might imagine, near and around the Mississippi River, with a large concentration in the St. Louis area. The truth is St. Louis is also known as Mound City, due to numerous mounds of earth that were found there (The ancient mounds were destroyed as the city grew.).
Just across the river, in Illinois, is a well preserved national treasure called Cahokia. There, you can explore around some actual mounds, learn more about the ancient people and some of the archaeological digs that have been conducted there. While you're there take a deep breath and climb the steps to the top of Monk's Mound.
Again though, the question remains: where did this large society of people go? What chased them away? In this module, you will get a closer look at the Mound Builders. Maybe you can even solve the mystery along the way - though many educated, professional archaeologists have yet to solve it.
This module is about the Pre-Columbian world. Here is another video that puts Cahokia in historical perspective with other cultures.