Sunday, September 30, 2012

Cahokia Mounds

Above is a picture of the remains of an enormous terraced mound in Illinois, known today as Monk's Mound It apparently received that name because a small community of Trappist monks lived in the area in the early 1800s, causing the American judge and writer Henry Brackenridge (1786 - 1871) to name the massive structure "Monk's Mound." 

While its shape and dimensions have undergone considerable degradation over the centuries, causing its original size to be open to interpretation and debate, this huge earthwork is well over 1,000 feet long by nearly 800 feet wide, and reaches a height of about 100 feet.  

Monk's Mound is the largest of a complex of smaller mounds which surround it at various distances in all directions, some of which have been completely obliterated by the incursions of modern construction (of roads, subdivisions, and a gravel yard).  The complex is known as Cahokia Mounds, and it is located just east of St. Louis, on the western edge of Illinois.  Since the 1960s, the remains of several circles originally composed of vertical wooden posts have been discovered inside the complex.  These are known as Woodhenges and there may have been as many as five within the Cahokia complex.

Although conventional historians are adamant that such mound complexes must have been constructed by Native American tribes, in previous centuries there was much speculation about "mound builder" cultures that may have come from or had contact with other ancient cultures from across the oceans.  This possibility is roundly criticized by conventional historians today.  Typical of the tone and language employed in such criticism is this Wikipedia entry under the heading "mound builder (people)," which declares: "At one time, the term 'mound builder' was applied to the imaginary race believed to have constructed these earthworks" (entry accessed September 30, 2012).

While it is of course possible that these mound complexes and associated Woodhenges were constructed by Native American peoples, it is regrettable that the possibility of trans-oceanic contact has been so completely suppressed since the late 1800s.  This suppression is particularly regrettable in light of the extensive evidence that goes against the conventional "isolationist" theories (see this previous post for a list of several types of evidence, with links to other posts discussing each). 

The dauntless Martin Doutré, who applies his detailed analysis and extensive base of knowledge to numerous ancient sites around the globe (including many lesser-known sites in places that have not received as much publicity for their ancient monuments, such as New Zealand, China, Korea, and Arizona and other locations in the US), has published an outstanding examination of the Cahokia Mounds complex and found many angles and measurements which strongly suggest a connection to ancient sites across the oceans, including to well-known henges in England.  

That study, available on Mr. Doutré's website,  is eleven webpages long and filled with detail and numerous photos.  Here are the links to each page: page 1, page 2, page 3, page 4, page 5, page 6, page 7, page 8, page 9, page 10, page 11.

Mr. Doutré believes that the Cahokia Mounds complex was a giant outdoor training ground for trans-oceanic navigation -- just as the Avebury Henge complex in England is as well, in his analysis (a complex which, perhaps significantly, also features massive earthen mounds such as Marlborough Mound and Silbury Hill).  Among the compelling evidence Mr. Doutré offers for concluding that the Cahokia Mounds complex was the product of people familiar with the pattern employed in England and other ancient sites around the globe are:

  •  The incorporation of Woodhenges, which he argues were a kind of "elementary school" where the important numbers and navigational skills could be taught and practiced in a smaller setting before moving on to the larger-scale training grounds -- just as Mr. Doutré believes the Woodhenge near Durrington Walls Henge in southern England was used for the same purpose.
  • The incorporation of numerous significant angles and numbers relating to precession and to navigation on our spherical earth.  For example, the mound today known as Mound 60 is located 2,160 feet from the central hub on the summit of Monk's Mound (see discussion on page 7 of Mr. Doutré's analysis)  -- and we know that 216 is an important precessional number and one that was incorporated in sites around the world (including a site in Iceland -- see this recent post on the discoveries of Einar Palsson and Petur Halldorsson).
  • Connections to angles and distances used at other ancient monuments, such as Avebury.  For example, Mr. Doutré finds that the azimuth angle and distance to Mound 10 from the central hub on Monk's Mound are 354.375 degrees at a distance of 3,543.75 feet, which corresponds to "the distance and angle relationship existing between Avebury Henge's centre obelisk position and the doorway into West Kennet longbarrow (Southern England)" which has a distance of 7,087.5 feet (which is twice 3,543.75 feet) at the identical azimuth of 354.375 degrees (see discussion on page 3 of Mr. Doutré's analysis).
There are hundreds of other data points cited in Mr. Doutré's analysis -- the above are called out as a representative sampling to demonstrate the strong case that can be made for ancient trans-oceanic influence upon the design and layout of the Cahokia complex.

Arguing that there may have been contact across the oceans thousands of years ago should not be seen as an argument that some races or cultures are "better" or more capable than others, although some critics would seek to silence all speculation of ancient global contact as "racist."  Looking at all the possible explanations (including the theory that the Cahokia Mounds and other sites are the product of more recent Native American construction efforts) should be permitted without name-calling or attempts to impugn the motives of those who seek to examine the evidence and analyze it to the best of their abilities.

Monk's Mound and the Cahokia Mounds complex is an incredible historic treasure that should be more widely known and widely studied.  We are all fortunate that thinkers like Mr. Doutré's have turned their talents towards its analysis, and should carefully consider their conclusions and see whether there are other theories which explain the evidence better or not. 

There appears to be substantial evidence at Cahokia Mounds to support some conclusions about the ancient history of mankind that are very different from what those in control of education for the past century want us to believe.