Effigy Mounds Culture
For many thousands of years Wisconsin's inhabitants survived by hunting, fishing, and gathering wild plants. Each community moved often, traveling to places where food could be found in abundance. Springs and summers were spent in river valleys and near lakes. During cold weather, families separated from one another and moved into sheltered upland valleys. As the years passed, complex social and religious systems appeared, evolved, and vanished, leaving the basic pattern of life unchanged.
Between 700 BC and AD 0, pottery, domesticated plants, and the practice of building earthen burial mounds were introduced to Wisconsin. These changes marked the beginning... more...
Original Documents and Other Primary Sources
||The first careful investigation of Wisconsin mounds is published in 1838.|
||The "Vanished Race of Mound Builders" theory advanced in 1906.|
||A Mormon writer theorizes about the origins of Aztalan in 1845|
||The second scholarly attempt to map and explain the mounds (1842)|
||Cyrus Thomas proves in 1894 that Indians built the effigy mounds.|
||Increase Lapham examining a meteorite, ca. 1868|
||Pictures of Native American Burial Mounds|
||Increase Lapham lectures on Indian mounds, 1851|
||Archaeologist Increase Lapham writes home from the field.|
Primary Sources Available Elsewhere
||Wisconsin scientist P.R. Hoy on effigy mounds (1885)|
||A young scientist leaves the first account of Wisconsin mounds in 1823.|
||William Pidgeon proposes a vanished race in 1852.|
||Increase Lapham's scholarly book on Wisconsin's effigy mounds, 1855|
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Answers to questions about mounds from our Burial Sites Preservation Program
The best book on Wisconsin's Indian mounds, by WHS archaeologists
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