Archeologists, the scientist who study the evidence of past human lifeways, classify moundbuilding Indians of the Southeast into three major chronological/cultural divisions: the Archaic, the Woodland, and the Mississippian traditions.
They lived from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico and the Mississippi River to the Appalachian Mountains. The earliest mounds date from 3000 B.C. in Louisiana. It is believed that these mounds were used for burial, religious ceremonies, and as governmental centers. The mounds averaged 65 ft.
The first Indian group to build mounds in what is now the United States are often called the Adenans. They began constructing earthen burial sites and fortifications around 600 B.C. Some mounds from that era are in the shape of birds or serpents, andprobably served religious purposes not yet fully understood.
Another possibility is that the Mound Builders died from a highly infectious disease. Although it appears that for the most part, the Mound Builders had left Ohio before Columbus arrived in the Caribbean, there were still a few Native Americans using burial practices similar to what the Mound Builders used.
Some mounds were built along the ridge line of hilltops; others were shaped into platform pyramids, perfect cones or avenues of straight lines. So far as anyone knows, the Mound Builders had no written language; they speak now only through what may be studied from the artifacts they left behind.
Mound Builders were prehistoric American Indians, named for their practice of burying their dead in large mounds. Beginning about three thousand years ago, they built extensive earthworks from the Great Lakes down through the Mississippi River Valley and into the Gulf of Mexico region.
Cahokia was the largest and most influential urban settlement of the Mississippian culture, which developed advanced societies across much of what is now the central and southeastern United States, beginning more than 1,000 years before European contact.
These included the pre-Columbian cultures of the Archaic period, Woodland period (Calusa culture, Adena and Hopewell cultures), and Mississippian period; dating from roughly 3500 BCE (the construction of Watson Brake) to the 16th century CE, and living in regions of the Great Lakes, the Ohio River Valley, and the
The Mound Builders, an ancient population indigenous to the American Midwest and Southeast, ate a range of domesticated native crops, including beans, wheat and goosefoot, along with wild meat from animals, such as deer.
They were hunters and gatherers. They grew some crops. They traded with each other and with other people. They kept slaves.
The Anasazi and the Mound builders were alike in many different ways. Both people had a rough life of living. In order to have food they had to grow it themselves. Growing the food wasn’t the hard part: getting water to the fields to where they would be able to grow their own food.
The scale of public works in the Mississippian culture can be estimated from the largest of the earthworks, Monks Mound, in the Cahokia Mounds near Collinsville, Illinois, which is approximately 1,000 feet (300 metres) long, 700 feet (200 metres) wide, and 100 feet (30 metres) high.
The bones of revered ancestors, ceremonial regalia, elaborate jewelry, axes and maces, blankets and beads and effigy pipes, treasures of pearl and copper and shell were buried together and left undisturbed for 600 years, until they were unearthed in the 1930s.
According to Bartram’s early journals (Travels, originally published in 1791) the Creek and the Cherokee who lived around mounds attributed their construction to “the ancients, many ages prior to their arrival and possessing of this country.” Bartram’s account of Creek and Cherokee histories led to the view that these
It consists of an earthen ring over 300 feet (100m) in diameter with conical mounds of varying size dispersed around the crest of the ring. Archaeologists believe that it was constructed around 3500 BC as a ceremonial center for a community that migrated seasonally.