Information on:

Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site

30 Ramey Street

About Us:

A World Treasure:

In 1982, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), designated Cahokia Mounds a World Heritage Site for its importance to our understanding of the prehistory of North America. Cahokia Mounds has also been recognized as a U. S. National Historic Landmark. Cahokia Mounds is managed by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency as a State Historic Site.

A Thriving Ancient Metropolis:

According to archaeological finds, the city of Cahokia was inhabited from about A.D. 700 to 1400. At its peak, from A.D. 1050 to 1200, the city covered nearly six square miles and 10,000 to 20,000 people lived here. Over 120 mounds were built over time, and most of the mounds were enlarged several times. Houses were arranged in rows and around open plazas, and vast agricultural fields lay outside the city.

The site is named for the Cahokia subtribe of the Illiniwek (or Illinois tribe, a loose confederacy of related peoples), who moved into the area in the 1600s. They were living nearby when the French arrived about 1699. Sometime in the mid-1800s, local historians suggested the site be called "Cahokia" to honor these later arrivals.

Archaeological investigations and scientific tests, mostly since the 1920s and especially since the 1960s, have provided what is known of the once-thriving community.

The Mystery of Cahokia:

The fate of the prehistoric Cahokians and their city is unknown, but the decline seems to have been gradual, beginning around the 1200s. By A.D. 1400 the site had been abandoned. Exactly where the people went or what tribes they became is yet to be determined.

Depletion of resources probably contributed to the city's decline. Climate change after A.D. 1200 may have affected crop production and the plant and animal resources needed to sustain a large population. War, disease, social unrest, and declining political and economic power may have also taken their toll.


Jenn Gee

Wednesday, July 4, 2018
Awesome experience. The kids enjoyed it. There is some native people nudity which should be expected, but if you have never gone you may need to prepare your children ahead of time. The main display room has lots to look at and engage with. Definitely recommend.

Michael Anderson

Saturday, June 16, 2018
The site is so much larger than I ever imagined. The Monks mound has a foot print over 14 acres. The view is wonderful and you can see in all directions including St. Louis and Arch. There are active digs and the people were very friendly. The archeologists took time away from their work to answer questions. The interpretive center is very clean and has great information. The paths are great for hiking and we saw a beautiful crane and some deer. Highly recommended!

Greg M

Saturday, June 16, 2018
Great place to visit. The largest mound called Monk's mound is huge and is something you would think could only be made with modern technology, akin to the pyramids for example. There are several smaller mounds in a park like area with nice walking paths. If you want to take a nice long walk and see some history along the way, this is a great place. You can walk around in the park for free and parking is free. The museum is first class. As good as you will find in Washington DC or Chicago. It truly is a jewel for the St. Louis community. Wear comfortable walking/running shoes. Allow an hour or ninty minutes for the museum depending on how thoroughly you like to read exhibits.

Viable Me

Friday, June 1, 2018
You don't want to miss this little known gem! The free (donations are appreciated) museum is nicely ran by a great group of folks who are patient and willing and ready to answer all your questions. It houses many interesting artifacts and historically accurate dioramas as well as a walk through village. They also have a theater where you can watch a free 17 minute informative film. The grounds are nicely kept sprawling 3.5 square miles. If you're up to it you can climb the 154 steps of Monk's Mound for a beautiful scenic view with the Gateway Arch in the distance. Definitely worth your time!

Leticia Borror

Friday, June 1, 2018
This museum and historical site is small, but pretty decent. Driving by you can see the mounds and lots of trails that people use to run around in the morning, the mound you can climb on, is not stroller or wheel chair accessible, I recommend to bring a kangaroo carrier if you have a baby with you, and sunscreen. The museum is very nicely arranged and they take donations to keep their exhibit going, suggested price for a family $15, but you can give any amount. There is a good informational movie that plays every hour or as otherwise scheduled, watch it, is like 15 minutes tops and gives you nice inside on the cosmology of the place. Bathrooms are clean, there is a changing baby station in the females restroom, didn't check the males room, and there is a gift store.

Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site is not affiliated with AmericanTowns Media