Ancient Mounds, A guide to public earthen mounds, Earthworks, cliff dwellings, pueblos, petroglyphs, caves, stone chambers, rock art, and ancient sites of North America. Ancient Mounds are found all over the world. Sites listed by state, with maps and information on artifacts unearthed at each site. Articles on Ancient People and Places. History of Prehistoric Peoples Including The Hopewell, Fort Ancient, Phoenician, Anasazi, Vikings, Welsh, Irish, and more. Learn about places to visit to see Ancient History.
Earthen Mounds are found all along the Mississippi River from Minnesota to Louisiana and East of the Mississippi from New Hampshire to Florida. Extensive trade networks existed in Mississippi that imported copper, galena, mica and greenstone from far distances connecting all these sites in a expansive distribution network of natural resources.
The oldest mounds in America are in Louisiana, Watson Brake dated to about 3500 BCE and is considered the earliest mound complex in North America. Poverty Point is a UNESCO World Heritage Site where several thousand artifacts were found, it dates to about 1000 BC. It has a large mound in the centered of a semi circle of concentric ridges.
Cahokia is near St. Louis, Missouri and at one point included 120 mounds. When it peaked around 1050-1150AD it's population was larger then London with 10-20,000 people. The UNESCO Site has the largest prehistoric earthwork in America.(Source)
Mounds shaped like animals are called effigy mounds. In Iowa's Effigy Mounds National Park there are over 200 Mounds, several shaped like bears and birds. From 700 AD to 1250 AD Effigy Mounds were constructed in Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Illinois.
Mound Building is truly ancient and prolific spanning many cultures and continents. It is clear the ancient cultures in America are comparable to the greatest civilizations in history. Where the mound building culture began is difficult to decipher, many are no longer standing. Several of the the mounds in America have been leveled for farm land and modern urban expansion.
Poverty Point, LA
YOUR GUIDE TO ANCIENT SITES
EARTHWORKS MOUNDS STONE CHAMBERS CLIFF DWELLINGS ROCK ART CAVES