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.




Big Mound Stone Chambers( diagram also used in SWitzlers book p 73 to represent different works)
(Peet 75)

The mound builders: their works and relics. By Rev. Stephen Peet 1892.

The mound-builders; a reconstruction of the life of a prehistoric American race, through exploration and interpretation of their earth mounds, their burials, and their cultural remains, by Henry Clyde Shetrone.  1930.

​Switzler's illustrated history of Missouri, from 1541 to 1881.  1881. (p 73?)

Stone Vault Burials in Missouri

Big Mound near New Madrid, Missouri  was completely destroyed in 1869.  When it was being demolished two skeletons were found, buried with them were two conch shells, nine ivory beads, an ivory spool, articles of copper, "about three inches in length and about half as wide, resembling somewhat in shape the common smoothing iron of the laundry.  The under side, which was concave, showed the marks of the mould in which they were cast."(Switzler 42)

The most interesting feature of Big Mound was that it contained a mud-plastered room, with inside plastered in red clay. The original length of the sepulchral chamber was about seventy-two feet (Switzler 42)

 The room contained the largest collection of pottery ever found in one place, including many vessels shaped as squatting females.  Square Chambers and plaster was uncommon with the Mound-builders, but quite common among the Cliff Dwellers and Pueblos. (Peet 77)

Graves of the Viking Stone Age

Stone Age graves in Present Scandinavia can be classified into four groups: The Cromlech or Dolmen, Passage or Gallery Graves, Free Standing Stone Coffins, Stone Coffins covered by a Mound.  <Read More>

Prehistoric inhabitants living in the areas that are now Kansas City to central Missouri buried their dead in stone vaults or chambered tombs. Built with flat limestone or sandstone slab walls, these stone vaults were simply a stone enclosure with no stone roof but they were covered with earth to form mounds.  "An interesting feature of the stone vaults is a very noticeable uniformity of orientation.  In greater number the long axis lies northeast-southwest, and doorways found in most of the vaults west of the mouth of the Osage River are usually in the south or southwest wall."(Shetrone 352)

Stone cairns, or mounds consisting entirely of stone, generally containing the remains of more than one individual, are found along the Gasconade River and at other points in Gasconade County.(Shetrone 355)  On the Highest areas of the Missouri Bluffs twenty five mounds were found and most contained stone vaults. "The vaults contained bodies in sitting posture, with knees bent, the hands resting on the knees.  The vaults had openings or entrances, somewhat resembling the dolmens of Europe, though there are no such long passages as are there found."(Peet 76)

The Kensington Runestone

“Eight Goths and twenty-two Norwegians upon a journey of discovery from Vineland westward.  We had a camp by two skerries one day.  When we retuned home we found ten men red with blood and dead. <Read More>

Additional Reading

Stone Vault Brenner Mound No. 2
(Shetrone. 353)