Thursday, April 03, 2008

Mounds of Turquoise

I try to remind myself that it's good be a tourist in my own town more often. There are so many things that I take for granted that I can do whenever, but never do. There's the Anheuser Busch brewery that I haven't toured since I've been of drinking age (but I got a stuffed Clydestale from there when I was 8 or 9). I don't take nearly as many trips to the zoo as most people I know, and don't think I've been there in about 10 years. But another nearby attraction that would be absolutely fascinating to tour again, since I haven't done it since a 4th or 5th grade field trip, is just about a half hour east of here, Cahokia Mounds.

Did you know that Monk's Mound, the four-terraced mound with a stairway to the top, is the largest man-made earthen mound in North America, and has even been referred to as "World's Largest Pyramid" by the Travel Channel? Did you know that the site has its own version of Stonehenge, called "Woodhenge," a circle of posts made to observe the sky, built while the Middle Ages were going on in Europe? (Do you ever wonder what was going on in North America while they were having their Middle Ages?? Well this helps explain that!) And, that Cahokia may have previously been the largest city in the U.S. until the population of Philadelphia exceeded 40,000 in 1800? Crazy, huh? These and many more mysteries surround the site, including why the city was abandoned around 1400.

All I remember about the place when I toured it as a kid, was that their gift shop sure had a lot of turquoise jewelry.

(not actual jewelry from Cahokia; I couldn't find pictures of the jewelry in their gift shop)

I remember I bought a pendant ringed with cubic zirconia. I'm not sure what happened to it. But I'd love to go back to get something new! :) And of course take time to actually appreciate the rich history embedded in this site. Anyone wanna go sometime? Wouldn't that be a cool excursion? If we can get around all the little kiddies there on their field trips... :) But I had to deal with that at Mount Vernon, so I've had the practice. :)



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm usually up for exploring or revisiting parts of St. Louis. I would be interested in seeing the Cahokia mounds and haven't been there yet.


4/06/2008 5:41 PM  
Blogger Larry said...

I'm in. I don't know if I have ever been to the mounds. Read about em, driven by em, never visited them. Did you know that there used to be a lot of mounds around St. Louis? Most of them have been graded for developement. I had a look on Google to see if I could find any in St. Louis. There is only one left on our side of the river.

4/08/2008 7:38 AM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

I'm in, too. Is it weird to have a field trip consisting entirely of young *AHEM* adults?? Can we get a bus?? And pack peanut butter and jelly sandwiches?? (Okay, something else for K, but you know what I mean...)

Seriously, though, I'd love to do this.

4/09/2008 9:54 AM  
Blogger Joan said...

I'd love to go too - it sounds fascinating, but I didn't even know it was there. Thanks for enlightening me!

4/12/2008 9:27 PM  

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