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North America’s First Big City

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tags: archaeology, Native Americans, St. Louis



Although little is known about the Native Americans who lived in the East St. Louis area, a team of archaeologists who worked on a dig to clear land for the Stan Musical Veterans Memorial Bridge are ready to share their latest discoveries.

For about 150 years around the end of the first millennium, there was an extremely big and flourishing Native American city in East St. Louis, located close to the Cahokia Mounds. Samira Brennan, the intern field station manager for the Illinois State Archeological Survey in Fairview Heights stated that, “The occupation is heavy,” and although there has not yet been a proper study of the area by the archaeologists, they still believe that it was densely populated.

Brad Koldhoff, chief archaeologist for the state of Illinois, said, “This is the first big city in North America. Now we have details and it’s – wow.” One conjecture had been that all Cahokia Indians moved to East St. Louis, but Koldhoff does not believe that, “When Cahokia was big, East St. Louis was big: and this was even bigger than people thought.”

Read entire article at New Historian


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