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Of all ancient civilizations in North America, human hands have built no greater earthwork than the Monks Mound near East St. Louis, IL. The Mound Builders statesmanship, ambitious projects and workforce make them of the most important cultures of World history. Monks Mound is situated about a mile from the Mississippi River, just north of East St. Louis, Illinois, in central United States.
The expertise of the ancient engineers that built the mound is shown through a complex layering of materials to build it. Inspection of the construction sequence of Monks Mound reveals that the final size and shape was part of a highly developed plan. All carefully layered stages of construction proceeded quickly as shown by a complete absence of erosion or layers of vegetation found between layers.
The mound consists of more than 2.16 billion pounds of non-local soil types.
Other construction materials used in the mound include limestone slabs, bald cypress and red cedar posts. Use of the limestone slabs in mound construction is important as a chronological marker indicating late Archaic construction (3000 - 1000 BC).
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