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Sometimes the Brits really have their heads up their posterior when it comes to the geography of North America. 

Don't feel bad, Gentleman Johnny Burgoyne set quite a precedent later at New Orleans and had plenty of company when it came to getting lost in the vast North American interior.

The reason for this seeming diatribe is that the BBC posted this marvelous article on an ancient pre Columbian city of Cahokia, a UNESCO historic site which dates over a thousand years old when its estimated population was larger than that of Paris.

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Their (The BBC's) fatal mistake comes when they assert the city had no trade value and it was all based on weird native American religious mumbo jumbo. Well in the background of one of the photos is the Arch of the city of St. Louis, let's see, next to the Mississippi, yet not on a trade route? Are these people high? The story gets better, as the Mississippi meanders, with older bypassed remnants leaving land locked lakes called Ox Bows, and on google maps, it clearly shows a lost Ox Bow portion of the Mississippi right next to this deceased native metropolis now named the Cahokia Mounds State Park.

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To give them credit, it is a nice story of overlooked aspect of American archaeology, but when reading this interesting piece, recall there is a big difference between sipping tea on a small island, sitting by a stream called the River Thames and then misperceiving the terrain of a continent and calling a former giant city next to one of the largest rivers on the planet a mere religious site. These photos make this plain that the BBC has learned little about the subtleties of the vast American landscape. 

Foreword by Alex Boyle. 

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The US' lost ancient mega city  

Pity the event planners tasked with managing Cahokia's wildest parties. A thousand years ago, the Mississippian settlement – on a site near the modern US city of St Louis, Missouri – was renowned for bashes that went on for days.

 Throngs jostled for space on massive plazas. Buzzy, caffeinated drinks passed from hand to hand. Crowds shouted bets as athletes hurled spears and stones. And Cahokians feasted with abandon: burrowing into their ancient waste pits, archaeologists have counted 2,000 deer carcasses from a single, blowout event. The logistics must have been staggering.  

Read more on the BBC:

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