Down Goes Monk

The law of entropy is unforgiving: Everything succumbs to it. But people have a tendency to speed up that natural process, sometimes unwittingly. Monks Mound, the largest man-made earthen mound at the Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site, is also the largest man-made earthen mound in North America. But would it be larger than it is now if the group of Trappist monks who used its lowest terrace as a garden between 1810 and 1813 hadn't done so? Bill Iseminger, Cahokia's assistant site manager, discusses the slumping of Monks Mound (by both natural and human-influenced means) and how the process can be reversed in a free lecture entitled "Monks Mound Is Falling Down" at 7 p.m. at the Missouri History Museum (Lindell Boulevard and DeBaliviere Avenue; 314-746-4599 or
Tue., Jan. 8, 2008