North America has had a rich history long before any Europeans “discovered” it. One of the many interesting civilizations is the Mississippian culture, which is known for their mound architecture as exemplified by the Kincaid Mounds State Historic Site. It is located in southern Illinois across the Ohio River from Paducah, Kentucky.
Evidence suggests that Native Americans have been living there since 2000 BC or even earlier. During it’s peak it had at least 19 large mounds, which all had buildings on top. The mounds could be as long as 500 feet (150 m) and as high as 30 feet (9 m). The city was well connected: The inhabitants were trading goods with other tribes in Illinois, Tennessee and Missouri. The site appears to have been abandoned around 1450, most likely due to a lack of timber and game resources.
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Photo Credits / Sources:
Herb Roe [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons