- Once believed to have been an ancient and mysterious people whose mounds,
fortifications, and monumental structures are to be found in the northern
lake section of Wisconsin, the Ohio Valley, and the Gulf region.
Skeletons of the Mound Builders show that
they did not differ from those of the modern Indian, and articles of European
manufacture found in mounds indicate that many mounds were built after
the arrival of Columbus.
Modern archeological work has demonstrated
that there were a number of types of mounds built by many different groups
of Indians over a period of two thousand years.
The earliest Mound Builders are known as
the Burial Mound People. Their mounds were evidently an aspect of
a Cult of the Dead which moved into the Ohio Valley. Much later another
mound building culture came into the area and their mounds were known as
Temple Mounds. These mounds in general are larger than those of the
Burial Mound People and were erected as substructures for their wooden
temples. Such mounds continued to be built until the beginning of
the seventeenth century. Many of the tribes visited by DeSoto were
The largest mound in the United States
is the Cahokia mound in Madison County, Illinois. It is 100 feet
high and the base covers 16 acres. Emerald Mound in Mississippi is
another large mound.
The great Serpent Mound in Adams County
, Ohio, is 500 feet in length. There is a "platform mound" in Missouri
150 feet long and 25 feet high. Two "bird mounds," said to represent
birds, are in Georgia, and a mound with a moat and encircling wall and
another fashioned in the form of an oblong enclosure are in West Virginia.
within this Site
][ Calumet ][ Cherokee
][ Choctaw ]
][ Natchez ][ Quapaw
][ Serpent Mound ]