About 1050 C.E., a populous village of some thousand people was razed so that a city could be built where it sat at the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, the hub of transportation for mid-America. The location is familiar to us today: it is St. Louis and its satellite East St. Louis. Here, between 1050 and 1200, was a city fully comparable to modern St. Louis. In place of today's Great Arch, the earlier city built a greater monument, today called Monks Mound—the third largest pyramid mound in the world. Only the Pyramid of the Sun in Teotihuácan and the Great Pyramid in Cholula, Mexico, are more massive. Khufu's pyramid, largest of the three at Giza in Egypt, is smaller. (1)...

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