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First Terrace Investigations

Monks Mound Shortly after excavations had begun in Mound 72, UW-Milwuakee researchers lead by Elizabeth Benchley began excavations focused on the southwest corner of the first terrace of Monks Mound. This portion of the mound was selected for excavation on the basis of the intersection of the north-south centerline with Monks Mound at this point.
The decision to excavate this point of the first terrace was made on the basis of the intersection of the north-south centerline with Monks Mound at this point. A noticeable small rise was evident at the SW corner as well. Map of Monks Mound showing First Terrace intersection
Historic artifacts from chapel excavation
Historic artifacts from first terrace excavations
Benchley's work on the first terrace lasted for a number of seasons during which she found evidence for a series of burned structures on the southwest corner of Monks Mound, including a chapel dating to the French presence in the American Bottom. Several artifacts and burials dating to the historic period were recovered in association with the French chapel.
The excavations also revealed a series of superimposed post pits at the point of intersection of the north-south centerline with the southwest corner of Monks Mound. Although these posts are dated later than the post in Mound 72, their presence on the first terrace is notable as it suggests that the north-south centerline passing through Monks Mound and Mound 72 retained its importance into the later periods of occupation at Cahokia.

The identification of the superimposed post pits at the southwest corner of the first terrace, in conjunction with the post at the southeast end of Mound 72 have lead to a general acceptance of Fowler's proposed north-south centerline.

   

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Last Updated: May 10, 2002
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