Guide Indian Mounds of Wisconsin

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Box , Muscoda, WI , by emailing mark. Cupp is the executive director of the smallest state agency in Wisconsin, the Lower Wisconsin State Riverway Board, the agency charged with maintaining the viewshed of the Lower Wisconsin as seen from the river. Unlike the Mississippi, the majority of recreational boats on the Lower Wisconsin are kayaks and canoes, so the agency keeps their interests at heart.

The missions of the Wisconsin Riverway and mound preservationists intersect in the knowledge that, once lost, these resources are impossible to recreate. Mark Culp.

Indian Mounds: Wisconsin's Priceless Archaeological Treasures

It includes about 31 mounds, including two that could be frogs, lizards or tailless turtles. The largest is about feet long. In the jungle of midsummer undergrowth, the mounds are virtually impossible to see. In the winter, especially with a dusting of snow, effigy mounds are more visible. Much of what is now woodland was then prairie, and the lowland undergrowth that we squinted through was rare. Highway 60 follows the final 82 miles of the Wisconsin River to the Mississippi near Prairie du Chien. The hill is mowed, except for the mounds, so they are easily seen.

The mounds are as large as feet across and about three feet high. Shadewald saw connections between effigy mound builders and Mayan culture, especially in calendar mounds across the road that may have been used as an agricultural timetable.


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He died in Friends and neighbors have continued his legacy. Besides mowing, the foundation occasionally burns the mounds and is seeding them with prairie plants. My, what a view. Andrew Khitsun. Numerous circular humps in the park are easy to spot, and in some places they touch playground areas. A backwater lake is a popular fishing spot, and the park includes a shady campground. Other conical, bear and bird mounds along the Lower Wisconsin shores are also public.

A bird effigy can be seen from Highway 60 west of Highway 80, and a wayside on the north side of Highway 60 between Prairie du Chien and Wauzeka contains more mounds. At the mouth of the Wisconsin, the magnificent Wyalusing State Park includes dozens of well-preserved mounds along the blufftops, overlooking the confluence of the Wisconsin and Mississippi and close to campsites.

The only man mound in the state was cut off at the knees by a highway near Baraboo, Wis. Kurt Sampson. A magnificent bird effigy, called the Ghost Eagle because it was unnoticed until its faint image was spotted in aerial photos, has a wingspan of a quarter mile, but annually diminishes from being plowed. Effigy mounds, as likely burials, are protected from excavation under Wisconsin law, and property owners can get property tax exemptions if their property contains Indian mounds.

Effigy mounds have long history in Wisconsin

A bill in the Wisconsin legislature last winter drew thousands of Ho-Chunk and other protesters because it required excavation for proof of burial protection. Citing evidence from past excavations, ethnography, the traditions of present-day Native Americans in the Midwest, ground-penetrating radar and LIDAR imaging, and recent findings of other archaeologists, Robert A.


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Rosebrough argue that effigy mound groups are cosmological maps that model belief systems and relations with the spirit world. The authors advocate for their preservation and emphasize that Native peoples consider the mounds sacred places. This edition also includes an expanded list of public parks and preserves where mounds can be respectfully viewed, such as the Kingsley Bend mounds near Wisconsin Dells, an outstanding effigy group maintained by the Ho-Chunk Nation, and the Man Mound Park near Baraboo, the only extant human-shaped effigy mound in the world.

Robert A. Now retired, he served as the state archaeologist of Wisconsin for many years and received the Increase Lapham Research Medal from the Wisconsin Archeological Society. Amy L. Important and necessary. Download high resolution cover, color.

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