Megan Lendman Photography


Travel blog of a wild woman who loves the earth, moon, and sun with all the light in her heart.

Cahokia and Heirloom Amaranth


All that is left of the ancient Native American civilization of Cahokia are astrologically placed mounds and the amaranth that they planted for sustenance. Located just east of St. Louis, Cahokia was at its peak 1,000 years before European contact. Also, if estimates are correct, 13th century Cahokia was larger than 13th century London with around 50,000 people. This fascinating piece of history of the Americas was never taught in schools. We merely discovered it on a pitstop off the highway. The city of Cahokia disbanded or was killed off by disease or warfare before European contact as well so little is known about the disappearance of this great civilization. We do know is that they cultivated Amaranth which originally grew along the Mississippi and was brought further inland to support this growing population. We also can clearly see the design of the mounds was intentional and is very reminiscent of the Mayan and Incan pyramid designs, except constructed from dirt instead of stone. Who were these people? What did they know? What happened to them?

Maybe we’ll never know.

Maybe the amaranth will tell us if we listen.