MINDS @ UW-Madison

Ancient Mounds, Modern Meanings

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Sweeney, Mark E.
Apr 28, 2003
Bear Mound Park; Effigy mounds; Effigy Mounds National Monument
Students at the University of Wisconsin and other residents of Madison encounter effigy mounds on an almost daily basis as they move throughout campus and the city. Mounds can be found on Observatory Hill (see Figure 1), near the Lakeshore path, in Elmside Park, and throughout the city, Dane County, and the rest of Southern Wisconsin. But what do these mounds mean? Archaeologists can offer some explanations as to the motivation of the mounds' builders, but they cannot explain what the mounds mean today or how the function in our society. This honors thesis begins to answer this question. I examine two effigy mound landscapes, Effigy Mounds National Monument (EMNM), and Bear Mound Park.
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