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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Collinsville in Madison County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Stockade

A Walled City

 
 
Stockade Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, June 15, 2014
1. Stockade Marker
Inscription. The central ceremonial precinct of Cahokia was enclosed by a defensive wall, the Stockade (or Palisade). It was built of upright logs placed in 4-5 foot deep trenches and probably stood 10-15 feet high above the ground. It would take an estimated 15-20,000 logs to build this wall that was nearly two miles long. At regular intervals (about 85 feet, center-to-center) were bastions, guard towers with raised platforms for warriors to protect the front of the wall. L-shaped entryways were occasionally placed between bastions.
     The Stockade would also serve a social function. The wall enclosed an area of nearly 200 acres, including Monks Mound and 17 other mounds. Those living inside the sacred precinct were somehow different from those living outside, possibly related to the ruling elite. However, it is likely that all citizens would be allowed inside for festivals and ceremonies, or to help defend, if needed. It is not known if the enemy were local or from distant areas, or if the site was ever attacked.
     The wood does not survive, but archaeologists can see dark linear stains in the soil marking where the trenches had been dug into the lighter subsoils. Four constructions of wall are evident, often overlapping each other, with the size and shape of the bastions changing each time.


(Upper Left Illustration
The Grand Plaza image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, June 15, 2014
2. The Grand Plaza
Close-up of map on marker
Caption)

Woodpecker head designs from the stone Ramey tablet from Cahokia

(Upper Center Image Caption)
A stockade built 800 years earlier still leaves surface traces. Although not visible from the ground, they can be seen from the air as this 1922 photograph reveals. Discovered decades later, the light streak enabled archaeologists to begin digging right over the ancient stockade in 1966.
Photo courtesy of the Illinois State Museum

(Lower Center Map Caption)
Map of the stockade excavations in this part of the site, showing the four constructions of the walls and their associated bastions and gates.

(Upper Right Illustration Caption)
As shown in these illustrations, the wall was rebuilt several times between AD 1150 to 1250. A new wall replaced an old decaying one. Spaced at 85 foot intervals were defensive towers, called bastions, from which bow and arrow combat could be effectively waged, and L-shaped entryways could be guarded. With each new construction, the spacing between bastions became more precise, indicating standard unit of measure had been developed.
 
Erected by Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site.
 
Location. 38° 39.632′ N, 90° 3.534′ W. Marker is near Collinsville
Aerial Photo of Cahokia Mounds in 1922 image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, June 15, 2014
3. Aerial Photo of Cahokia Mounds in 1922
Close-up of image on marker
, Illinois, in Madison County. Marker can be reached from Collins Lane 0.1 miles north of Collinsville Road. Touch for map. Collins Lane ends in a parking lot for the trail to Monks Mound; marker is located north of the parking lot. Marker is in this post office area: Collinsville IL 62234, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Cahokia (within shouting distance of this marker); Monks Mound (approx. 0.2 miles away); Grand Plaza (approx. 0.4 miles away); Woodhenge (approx. 0.8 miles away); Lewis and Clark and St. Louis Riverfront (approx. 7 miles away in Missouri); La Grande Rue (approx. 7 miles away in Missouri); Old Mission Hotel (approx. 7 miles away in Missouri); Old Judge Coffee Bldg. (approx. 7.1 miles away in Missouri). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Collinsville.
 
Also see . . .  Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site. Official website of Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site. (Submitted on June 28, 2014.) 
 
Categories. Man-Made FeaturesNative AmericansSettlements & Settlers
 
Construction Evolution of Walls image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, June 15, 2014
4. Construction Evolution of Walls
Close-up of illustration on marker
Stockade Excavations at this Site image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, June 12, 2014
5. Stockade Excavations at this Site
Close-up of map on marker
Stockade Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, June 15, 2014
6. Stockade Marker
Marker is located along sidewalk to reconstruction of sections of the stockade wall
Stockade Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, June 15, 2014
7. Stockade Marker
Located east of Monks Mound
Reconstruction of Stockade Wall image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, June 15, 2014
8. Reconstruction of Stockade Wall
Reconstruction of Stockade Wall image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, June 15, 2014
9. Reconstruction of Stockade Wall
Reconstruction of Stockade Wall near Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, June 15, 2014
10. Reconstruction of Stockade Wall near Marker
View to east from top of Monks Mound
The Stockade Path image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, June 15, 2014
11. The Stockade Path
Located south of the marker, this path closely follows the route of the western Stockade wall around central Cahokia
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on June 28, 2014, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 260 times since then and 29 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11. submitted on June 28, 2014, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas.
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