My husband and I are going on our tenth anniversary vacation to Cahokia Mounds this week. What fascinates me about this site is that it’s estimated between 20,000 to over 100,000 people made their homes here as recently as European contact. It’s the most sophisticated settlement north of Mexico. This is similar in size to South Bend, Indiana or Las Cruces, New Mexico.
I find some of the practices of the original inhabitants to be frightening: specifically, the practice of human sacrifice. One of the burial sites has over 300 bodies mostly of young women, who may have been killed at the time of death of a ruler, who is buried nearby. The theory is that they may have been sacrificed to serve him in the afterlife.
I’ll know more once we visit, of course, but I’m excited about seeing something like this especially this far north. Cahokia is near St. Louis, Missouri, which is comparatively very far north from the rest of the mound building culture, (which was mostly in Mexico, as far as current knowledge goes).
What about you? What’s your favorite vacation spot?