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Mississippian Culture of Moundbuilders Replaces Hopewell

The Hopewell Culture, centred in the southern region of Ohio, was in its dying stages in 500 AD. The vacuum the Hopewell left was filled with and continued by the Mississippian Culture. This is recorded on the Biblical Timeline Chart with World history around the late 5th century.

Trade networks developed between 200 AD and 400 AD collapsed. The Hopewell people then moved to more isolated settlements. The construction of mound effigies—the earthworks of which the Hopewell culture was identified with—decreased and in many settlements, were abandoned altogether.

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“The Kincaid Site, a Mississippian settlement in southern Illinois”

The Mississippian Culture’s territory spanned from the Southeastern part of North America to the Midwest. Some of the culture’s well-known urban centers were built in Cahokia and Kincaid in Illinois, Moundville in Alabama, Aztalan in Wisconsin, Angel Mounds Site in Indiana, and Spiro in Oklahoma. They were often surrounded by smaller villages and agricultural lands strategically positioned in river valleys and tributaries of major waterways. The Mississippian people did not irrigate their fields and preferred instead to till the rich soil of the floodplains to plant their crops, which consisted of maize, squash, and beans.

One of the distinct markers of the Mississippian Culture was the construction of massive mounds. They were used as bases for temples or the houses of secular and religious rulers. The largest that spanned between 14 to 16 feet at the base and reached a height of up to 100 feet. The Monks Mound of the Cahokia Mounds group was the largest of these earthworks built by the Mississippians.

References:“Hopewell Culture – Ohio History Central.” Hopewell Culture – Ohio History Central. Accessed June 14, 2016.
Thackeray, Frank W., and John E. Findling. What Happened? An Encyclopedia of Events that Changed America Forever [4 volumes]. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1995.
“An Introduction to North America’s Native People.” NATIVE PEOPLES of NORTH AMERICA. Accessed June 14, 2016.
“Mississippian Period: Overview.” New Georgia Encyclopedia. Accessed June 14, 2016.
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