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Indian Mounds of Wisconsin
     

Indian Mounds of Wisconsin

by Robert A. Birmingham, Leslie E. Eisenberg
 

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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

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.

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
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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780299168742
Publisher:
University of Wisconsin Press
Publication date:
10/28/2000
Edition description:
1
Pages:
264
Sales rank:
565,864
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.90(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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