Located on an expansive flood plain near the confluence of the Illinois, Mississippi and Missouri rivers is the preserved central section of the largest prehistoric Indian city north of Mexico. As a World Heritage Site, Cahokia Mounds includes 68 hand-packed earthen mounds, a wooden sun calendar, several burial tombs and a central plaza, all spanning across 2,200 acres (880 ha). There are 80 remaining mounds in total, out of 120 known.
Among the most interesting excavations, "Mound 72" produced nearly 300 burials including a 45-year-old male ruler whose body was placed upon 20,000 shell beads. Next to his body were four men with their heads and hands missing, along with the bodies of 53 women between the ages of 15 and 25 who were sacrificed with their ruler. The city at its height in 1200 CE was home to at least 20,000 residents, but may have been as high as 50,000. At that time Cahokia had a larger population than the city of London, England.
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