What are Indian mounds made of?

Mounds could be built out of topsoil, packed clay, detritus from the cleaning of plazas, sea shells, freshwater mussel shells or fieldstones. All of the largest mounds were built out of packed clay.

What were Indian mounds built for?

Some mounds of this period were built to bury important members of local tribal groups. These burial mounds were rounded, dome-shaped structures that generally range from about three to 18 feet high, with diameters from 50 to 100 feet.

How are mounds created?

Imagine groups of workers toiling from dawn to dusk, gathering baskets of dirt. They carry their burdens to a clearing, dump the soil, and tamp it down with their feet. As the days pass they retrace their footsteps time after time until a shape emerges and begins to grow. An earthen mound is born.

Is it illegal to dig up Indian burial grounds?

It took five years, but in 1990, Congress finally passed the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, or NAGPRA, which made it illegal to dig, desecrate or take any Native American remains, funerary objects, sacred objects and objects of cultural patrimony from federal and tribal lands.

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What are Indian shell mounds?

Shell ring mounds such as the one located here are scattered along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts. They likely represent gathering sites where people came together at various times of the year to harvest fish, shellfish, and marine birds and other animals, to feast together, and exchange goods and ideas.

Are mound walkers real?

The early earthworks built in Louisiana around 3500 BCE are the only ones known to have been built by a hunter-gatherer culture, rather than a more settled culture based on agricultural surpluses. The best-known flat-topped pyramidal structure is Monks Mound at Cahokia, near present-day Collinsville, Illinois.

What did the Mound Builders eat?

Corn (maize) was brought into the area from Mexico and was widely grown together with other vegetables like beans and squash. They also hunted both small animals like rabbits and squirrels and larger game animals like bison and various types of deer.

Are mounds man made?

Artificial mounds have been created for a variety of reasons throughout history, including habitation (see Tell and Terp), ceremonial (platform mound), burial (tumulus), and commemorative purposes (e.g. Kościuszko Mound).

Are Indian mounds sacred?

Members of the Hernando de Soto expedition, in 1539–1543, and later European explorers and Euro-American pioneers observed that the mounds, the buildings on their summits, and even the chiefs and priests who lived on or took care of the mounds were sacred and highly revered.

What is a Indian burial mound?

The mounds, some of which are spectacularly large and impressive, consist of earthen keyhole-shaped mounds surrounded by moats. They were used to bury royalty and prominent members of the aristocracy. … Burial mounds were characteristic of the Indian cultures of east-central North America from about 1000 bce to 700 ce.

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What happens if you disturb an Indian burial ground?

Any disturbance to the burial site is considered greatly disrespectful and is said to bring suffering to the descendants of the deceased. The Navajo believe a body must be properly buried so that the spirit can move on. If it is buried improperly, the spirit may remain in the physical world.

How do you excavate an Indian mound?

To begin excavating a mound, an archaeologist may dig a trench around the periphery and proceed to dig in piewedged sections, exposing each successive layer of burial. The area is sketched and photographed, and the location of each individual object recorded.

What do I do if I find Native American remains?

Secure the location of the remains to ensure that they are not further disturbed or damaged. Coroner. The Coroner will examine the remains within 2 working days of this notice. If the Coroner determines that the remains are Native American, s/he will notify the Native American Heritage Commission within 24 hours.

Where are Indian burial mounds located?

Adena and Hopewell culture burial mounds

Mound Location Culture
Indian Mounds Regional Park Saint Paul, Minnesota Hopewell and Dakota cultures
Miamisburg Mound Miamisburg, Ohio Adena culture
Mound City Chillicothe, Ohio Ohio Hopewell culture
Pinson Mounds Mounds 6, 12, and 31 Madison County, Tennessee Miller culture

What were shell mounds used for?

A midden (also kitchen midden or shell heap) is an old dump for domestic waste which may consist of animal bone, human excrement, botanical material, mollusc shells, potsherds, lithics (especially debitage), and other artifacts and ecofacts associated with past human occupation.

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Why are middens so important?

Archaeologically, middens preserve a record of thousands of years of coastal occupation. … In shell middens, bone artifacts and food remains are preserved, as well as ceramics. These materials, when combined with the shell and botanical remains, provide information about diet, technology, and seasons of site occupation.