Q & A with Lynne Goldstein
Wisconsin Historical Society Press: What motivated you to write about the mysteries of Aztalan?
Lynne Goldstein: Aztalan is the most famous archaeological site in Wisconsin and it is in a prime location between Milwaukee and Madison, yet the general public knows very little about it. I would like people to have a greater appreciation for what is there.
WHS Press: What are your research interests concerning Aztalan?
LG: My interests focus especially on the structure and layout of the site and how space was used within the site. I am interested in the organization of Aztalan and why the people who lived there put things where they did. I am also interested in Late Woodland and Mississippian ritual practices and mounds.
WHS Press: What do you want your readers to learn from this book?
LG: I want readers to learn that about Wisconsin's ancient past, and that not all Indians were hunters and gatherers who lived in teepees. I would like them to come to appreciate the complexity of Aztalan and the degree of organization required to plan the layout of the town, build the mounds, and create the artifacts.
WHS Press: What do you find most fascinating about Aztalan?
LG: The intricacies of its structure and plan.
WHS Press: How can this book serve as a guide to touring Aztalan State Park?
LG: The book outlines many aspects of the site and life of Mississippian people, so the reader can use the book with its maps to walk around the park to try and visualize what life may have been like. You can stand on the mounds and try to picture the houses, the plaza, and the agricultural fields. You can try to imagine some of the ceremonies. Hopefully, people will be able to better imagine the ancient town of Aztalan.