Indian Mounds of Wisconsin

Overview


More mounds were built by ancient Native American societies in Wisconsin than in any other region of North America--between 15,000 and 20,000 mounds, at least 4,000 of which remain today. Most impressive are the effigy mounds, huge earthworks sculpted into the shapes of birds, animals, and other forms, not found anywhere else in the world in such concentrations. This book, written for general readers but incorporating the most recent research, offers a comprehensive overview of these intriguing earthworks and ...
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Indian Mounds of Wisconsin

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Overview


More mounds were built by ancient Native American societies in Wisconsin than in any other region of North America--between 15,000 and 20,000 mounds, at least 4,000 of which remain today. Most impressive are the effigy mounds, huge earthworks sculpted into the shapes of birds, animals, and other forms, not found anywhere else in the world in such concentrations. This book, written for general readers but incorporating the most recent research, offers a comprehensive overview of these intriguing earthworks and answers the questions, Who built the mounds? When and why were they built?
The archaeological record indicates that most ancient societies in the upper Midwest built mounds of various kinds sometime between about 800 B.C. and A.D. 1200; the effigy mounds were probably built between A.D. 800 and A.D. 1200. Using evidence drawn from archaeology, ethnography, ethnohistory, the traditions and beliefs of present-day Native Americans in the Midwest, and recent research and theories of other archaeologists, Birmingham and Eisenberg present an important new interpretation of the effigy mound groups as "cosmological maps" that model ancient belief systems and social relations. It is likely that the distant ancestors of several present-day Native American groups were among the mound-building societies, in part because these groups’ current clan structures and beliefs are similar to the symbolism represented in the effigy mounds.
Indian Mounds of Wisconsin includes a travel guide to sites that can be visited by the public, including many in state, county, and local parks.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

 "No book with this broad coverage of Wisconsin’s mounds—or even mounds of the Midwest—has been published for some 150 years. This up-to-date survey will be useful for general readers and students but also will benefit professional archaeologists and scholars in related fields."—Robert L. Hall, Field Museum and University of Illinois at Chicago
From The Critics
It is estimated by archaeologists that there were between 15,000 and 20,000 Native American mounds in Wisconsin, of which at some 4,000 still remain today. These mounds range from simple swellings of earth to elaborate effigy mounds sculpted into the shapes of birds, animals, and other forms. Indian Mounds Of Wisconsin offers a comprehensive overview of these Native American earthworks and addresses the questions of when were they constructed, who built them, and for what purpose. Accessibly written and highly recommended for North American archaeology and Native American studies reference collections, as well as for the non-specialist general reader, Indian Mounds Of Wisconsin is enhanced with a travel guide to mound sites that can be viewed by the general public (including many in local, county, and state parks); photographs and line drawings; a Wisconsin archaeological chronology; effigy mound forms in selected counties; extensive chapter notes; bibliography for further study, and a "user friendly" index.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780299168742
  • Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/2000
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 264
  • Sales rank: 793,775
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert A. Birmingham is the state archaeologist in the Division of Historic Preservation and Leslie E. Eisenberg is a forensic anthropologist and coordinator of the Burial Sites Preservation Program, both at the State Historical Society of Wisconsin.
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Table of Contents

Illustrations vii
Tables xi
Preface xiii
1 The Mystery of the Mounds 3
2 Speculation, Excavation, Explanation: In Search of the Mound Builders 13
3 Wisconsin before the Mound Builders: The Paleo-Indian and Archaic Traditions 69
4 Early Burial Mound Builders: The Early and Middle Woodland Stages 82
5 Effigy Mound Builders: The Late Woodland Stage 100
6 Temple Mound Builders: The Mississippian Tradition 142
7 Mound Construction and Use in Later Times: Oneota, Northern Wisconsin, and the Historic Period 163
8 Indian Mounds in the Modern World 180
Appendix Selected Mound Sites Open to the Public 193
Notes 209
Bibliography 227
Index 240
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