Cahokia Mounds was the largest prehistoric Indian community in America, at its peak around AD 1150 it covered over six square miles, contained about 120 mounds, and had a population of 10-20,000 people. It was built by people of the Mississippian culture and had great influence over much of the Mississippian world. It includes the largest prehistoric earthwork in the Americas, known as Monks Mound, which covers over 14 acres and rises in several terraces to a height of 100 feet. It contains an estimated 22 million cubic feet of soil, all carried in baskets on the backs of the Mississippians. They also constructed Woodhenge, a circle of posts forming a solar calendar over 400 feet in diameter that had alignments with the solstices and equinoxes, and the fortified the center of their city with a two-mile long log Stockade. Besides being an Illinois State Historic Site, it is also a National Historic Landmark and, importantly, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the only one in Illinois and the Midwest US. It has a world-class Interpretive Center with orientation show, exhibits and dioramas, scale models, gift shop featuring Native American made jewelry, pottery and other items.
Hours OpenWednesday through Sunday, 9 am to 5 pm, closed Mondays and Tuesdays
Time Period RepresentedLate Woodland through Mississippian Periods, AD 700-1400
Seasons OpenAll year
Visitor FeesNo admission; suggested donation adults $7, seniors $5, students $2, families $15
Interpretive Center handicap accessible. Several interpretive trails also accessible via concrete sidewalks with interpretive signage at strategic locations. One wheelchair available. Disabled visitors may view a video of the outside tours if they are unable to use the trails. Free cassette players, a $1 guidebook, and rentals of iPod Touch units are available for self-guided tours outside on three interpretive trails and these also could be used by the disabled if they are unable to do the trails.
Pet Friendly Notes
Pets are allowed on the grounds on a leash, but not in the building unless they are service dogs.