|sent from: Arlington, Texas, USA. destination: Ashford, Kent, UK|
While we wandered the Art Institute in Chicago I learned of Cahokia, the largest pre-colonial native American city, the remains of which are in Illinois. This piqued my interest, mostly because I’d never heard of it. On our train journey south we stopped for the day in Louis, and delighted to find out that Cahokia lies nearby, just across the Mississippi River. According to the archaeologists at its peak it had a population equal to if not larger than any European city of the era (c. 1200). There is no clear consensus why it died out before the Europeans landed to mess up.. err make friends with the native peoples of America. Might have been environmental (over-forestation) or because of disease, or due to invasion. Either way, other people were involved, using too much, cutting down too many trees, and producing too much waste, a tradition that is proudly continued to this day.