After half a century, your people suddenly flourished.

 

In 1000CE you became their ruler, organising workers to build a great city with a hundred mounds linked by community plazas. With no pack animals or wheel, it took decades to haul the earth. The largest pyramid, Monks Mound, took more than fourteen million baskets of soil.

Your Mississippi culture was one of the most advanced in ancient America, with trade routes connecting the Great Lakes to the Gulf Coast. But it was not a peaceful time; you built a stockade around the centre of your city.

Under your body, Birdman chief, your people created the largest mass grave in the Americas, with the bodies of two hundred and fifty people, some of whom had been buried alive.

By 1250, your city was larger than London, but your culture’s success was its own undoing.

Your descendants put incredible pressure on the land, deforesting river edges and causing them to erode. The resulting floods made cropland too marshy for corn. Wood ran low. The oak and hickory you burned in the early centuries ran out and all you had left was energy-poor softwoods.

Your great city went into decline, until in the 1400s, it was completely abandoned, leaving no record of the language you spoke, nor even your culture’s name.

 

Cahokia