Mississippi Giant Floods Began Cahokia End

This area, a city of wealth, was filled with financial power and influence, but was doomed to suffer a decline once the Mississippi giant floods, along with political and sociological changes, ruined and destroyed their world.

According to researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, powerful Mississippi floods were the key to the Cahokia civilization being both a super power of its era, and its eventual destruction. The city and civilization were located in the area of current St. Louis, Missouri and was larger than AD 1250 London.

Research Reveals Mississippi Giant Floods Evidence
They examined sediment cores from lakes in the Mississippi floodplains where the city of Cahokia once sat. It showed that there had been several giant floods in the past 2,000 years. Additionally, radiocarbon testing of the plant remains and charcoal bits in the samples help to prove the timeframe of the events.

The samples were taken from a place about 120 miles downstream from where Cahokia once. However, the ancient city had been built during a time of relative drought, and so it had several hundred years to grow and thrive until finally, the Mississippi giant floods essentially wiped the civilization out.

Politics And Population Decline Also Led to End of Cahokia
The Mississippi giant floods were not the only thing that brought the end to the city of Cahokia. The researchers found evidence that pointed to social unrest such as sudden differences in the size of homes, different craft making techniques, and evidence of a wooden wall being built around the town. Plus, there were constant population shifts due to a lack of food caused by flooding that likely destroyed their crops.

Prior to Demise, Cahokia was a Busy, Prosperous City
Before the Mississippi giant floods marked the end for Cahokia, it seemed to be a very prosperous and busy city where tens of thousands of people lived and worked. For instance, they build huge earthen mounds that were hundreds of feet tall, and a mighty temple adorned with their crest. One of the mounds still exists for all to see and travel to.

However, by about the year 1350, the decline of the Cahokia people began. Since it existed in the floodplains of the Mississippi River area, it had no form of protection, like the levees seen today. The sediment cores collected by the researchers helped to date the Mississippi giant floods, which matched the timeframe when the city fell.

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