Cities of Trade
Cahokia is located directly across the Mississippi River from present-day St. Louis, Missouri. Signs of human presence has been found dating to around 1200 BC, but Cahokia as defined today began around 600 AD. It was the mot influential Native American settlement of its time.
Being a very prominent city among the indigenous peoples, Cahokia was linked with many other Native American settlements along the Mississippi River. Among the common items of trade came the exotic goods of copper, shells, and chert. Chert is a type of rock commonly used among the Mississippians for farming tools such as the hoe.
Cahokia was similar to many other great cities of the time in that its people had many different and important professions. Metalworking with copper made it more desirable to trade along the river. Manufacturing also helped the city to thrive because of the development of new farming tools. Pottery was another product of manufacturing that helped to keep the city alive. Before its peak, the city's economy enjoyed a large dependence on agriculture to sustain it.
This Native American city served as a very important trade hub until its population boom around 1050 AD. The dramatic increase in population caused the rapid depletion of materials and food. It also became very unhealthy with all of the waste the Native Americans were producing.