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Mississippian Mound Builders 700 AD, Rise of

Prior to the rise of Missippian Mound Builders is found on the Bible Timeline Poster with World History around 700 AD. This culture started in North America hundreds of years before the construction of the pyramids in Egypt. According to historians, these people created some earthen mounds of varied styles that were used in elite residences, burials, and religious ceremonies. There were different cultures included in the Mound Builders such as the Pre-Columbian during the Archaic, Mississippian and the Woodland period that covers the Hopewell and Adena cultures. All of these were within the years 3500 BC and until 16 AD. These cultures started and flourished in various areas including regions in the Ohio River Valley, Mississippi River Valley, and the Great Lakes.

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Scholars agreed that indigenous people living in America built these mounds. In fact, there were Spanish explorers who visited several Mississippi cities during the 16th century that dealt with the natives and learned more about their cultures. These explorers also discovered several artifacts that formed the concept that the natives were indeed responsible for these mounds built within certain regions in the Americas. The study of these cultures was mainly done through anthropology and archeology.

Interesting Facts about Mound Builders

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

Originally, “mound builder” was a term that pertained to the people who made various earthworks during the 16th to the 19th centuries. These people excelled in constructing mounds and structures used in burial and other ceremonies. Among these masterpieces included platform mounds and structures with elongated ridges or flat/rounded tops. They were also designed as a part of their intricate villages presenting the specialized knowledge and skill of the builders. In Louisiana, for instance, there were some earthworks believed to have been built as early as 3500 BC. A type of culture called hunter-gatherer built these earthworks.

One of the finest creations by mound builders was a pyramidal structure that comes with a flat top called the Monks Mounds. This was the largest earthwork in the pre-Columbian period with an estimated height of 100 feet. They are situated around Collinsville, Illinois. There were inhabited by about 20,000 people until the Europeans came after the year 1800. Other structures included effigy mounds; these come in the shape of animals there were considered significant by the people. For example, the Serpent Mound which was a popular effigy mound and it is located in southern Ohio. The structure, as the name implies, appears as an undulating serpent, and it reaches more than 1330 feet in length.

Some tribal groups have their own cultures and beliefs, and they all built mounds based on their culture. Also, their creations had some relevance with cosmology revealing the in-depth knowledge of these builders. In 3500 BC, which was the Middle Archaic period, the Watson Brake was built. It was regarded as North America’s oldest mound complexes. It served as a marker of the culture’s social and political complexity.

When the Civil War started, the zenith of the Mound Builders reached its end. Nevertheless, there were discoveries made including the shell middens and coastal mounds, in 1861. There were also other mounds studied by scientists including the ones found in the Newark Complex, among a few others.

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2 thoughts on “Mississippian Mound Builders 700 AD, Rise of

  1. Hello, I read your article on mound builders, and was wondering if there is any evidence that a mound was started at ground level during archaic times and topped off thousands of years later by the Mississippian time period, by adding a ceremonial mound on top of a archaic mound? Thanks, Jeff Krag

    1. I believe so – check out Cahokia and Poverty Point searches on the web.

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