week1 cahokia mound ppt - Mississippian City Although the...

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Mississippian City Although the St. Louis area was inhabited for thousands of years by various Indian tribal groups, it was only with the emergence of the mound- building cultures of the 1000s C.E. that we begin to get a glimpse of what these people were like, how they lived, and what kind of building they did.
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Across the river from St. Louis lay one of the largest urban areas in the Americas, a place that is today called Cahokia. In addition to this large city, emerging evidence tells historians and archaeologists that there were many smaller communities in the area as well, all sharing a common culture which united them along the lines of their religious beliefs. One of these communities was located in what is now downtown St. Louis; another may have been right out here, across the street in what is now Forest Park.
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During the 2010 competition held for the revitalization of the St. Louis and East St. Louis riverfronts, historical information was shared with the competing architectural firms, including information the city planning, design, landscape, and structural uniqueness inherent in the story of St. Louis, much of which we will be learning in the next few weeks in this course. Of all the historical information absorbed by the architects, the only thing that seemed to impress them was the story of the Mississippian mound building Indians; these concepts were reflected in some of their designs.
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Peter Walker and Partners
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Peter Walker and Partners
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Skidmore, Owings and Merrill
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The story of the mounds is indeed a dramatic one. Unlike a large percentage of native tribes in North America, the mound building ndians constructed lasting architectural monuments which can still be seen today. Permanent planned cities and towns were created with he punctuation of huge earthen mounds as ceremonial sites, home ites for chiefs, and burial sites. These towns existed not only at the preserved site of Cahokia near Collinsville, Illinois (which is today a tate historic site), but also on both sides of the Mississippi River in St. Louis and East St. Louis, and throughout what is today the Midwestern and Southern United States. Our course of studying the architectural legacy of St. Louis begins, then, with ancient Indian ribes and what we know of them through archaeology.
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For hundreds of years the story of the mound-building Indians was a mystery. It is only just recently, within the last decade or so, that major progress has been made to unravel how these people lived. The first European explorers and settlers of this area investigated the earthen mounds that had been built many years before by people unknown.
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Explorer William Clark unwraps a Vernier compass, c. 1803, illustration by Michael Haynes As William Clark readied himself for his famous journey into the West with Meriwether Lewis in 1803, he made a special trek to see the mounds on the Illinois side of the Mississippi River, and wrote about them in his journal.
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  • Spring '14
  • Moore
  • The American, Cahokia Study, Mississippian culture, Cahokia, Cahokia Mounds

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