Located in rural Illinois, the Cahokia Mounds is a historic Native American ruin consisting of 120 large man-made hills spread across several square miles. It’s the largest archaeological site of the ancient Mississippian culture that inhabited that region more than five centuries before the first Europeans arrived.
Though the Cohokia people didn’t leave any written records, excavated evidence suggests they may have experienced an ancient zombie outbreak.
Mound number 72 looks much like the others on its surface, but archaeologists recovered more than 250 full and partial skeletons of men, women and children who appear to have been violently executed. Some are missing their hands and skulls. More disturbing is the finding that many were even buried while still alive, showing signs that they attempted to claw their way out of the pile of bodies. Researchers have no clear explanation for the mass burial of living people, an unusual practice by a normally peaceful people.
Were the Cahokieans victims of a small-scale zombie attack that lead to the violent beheading and hasty burial of hundreds of their own tribe turned into raving ghouls? Did the undead threat make itself known in middle America hundreds of years before colonists passed through the region? As with most questions about zombies, more research is required.