At one point in history, one of the world’s largest cities was in America – and it wasn’t New York or Los Angeles. It was the heart of an area on the banks of the Ohio River in southernmost Illinois that’s now known as Little Egypt… maybe because it’s dotted with so many pyramid-like mounds. Between 8000 BCE and 1050 CE, this became the seat of several civilizations – most notably the Mississippian culture. They planted corn, they made ceramics, they took their pro sports with deadly seriousness and they built cities consisting of houses – think of them more like apartment buildings – on top of mounds.
The Kincaid Site was one of several towns supporting the big central metropolis of Cahokia, near what’s now East St. Louis, Illinois. About a hundred years before the first Europeans came to the area, the Mississippians gradually left, probably because they’d hunted all the local wildlife and cut down all the local trees until there just wasn’t much of a reason to stick around.