Myths of the Mound Builders Essay

937 Words Jul 4th, 2008 4 Pages
Myths of the Mound Builders
The first time I heard about the Mound Builders, which was in this class, these people seemed like a very primitive group. What was so exciting about having the skill of piling up a bunch of dirt. Then I was able to see some of these mounds and the scale was nothing I had imagined. These mounds were huge and also contained distinct structural shapes. Tombs, houses, and religious structures were constructed in or on top of the mounds. What made the edifices even more amazing was the time period they were built. Constructed all the way back to 3000 B.C., the mounds rivaled the most advanced engineering techniques in the world.
An interesting aspect involved with the Mound Builders were the way they were
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The problem was that the mounds were beginning to disappear. Certain actions were going to have to be taken in order to prevent the mounds from being destroyed.
In 1787 a man named Rufus Putman began to lay out the township of Marietta, Ohio. He decided to build the town close to a complex of large mounds because he saw them as a asset for the town. This gave scientist access to study the mounds. Using dendrochronology they were able to determine that the mounds were built before A.D. 1300. The significance of the mounds were exposed and Marietta was able to raise money in order to fence the mounds off to save them. This was not the case with all the earthworks. Many mounds were being destroyed because of development and farming.
People began to discover that there were many interesting artifacts to be found inside the mounds. The artifacts created good and bad for the survivability of the mounds. Antiquarians caught word of these treasures and took full advantage. Many sites began to get looted and destroyed because of excavations. The artifacts also attracted the attention of scientist who would bring the Mound Builders to the main stage. Caleb Atwater was able to survey the mounds of the Ohio Valley and place them into three categories. These categories were the Adena (Early Woodland), Hopewell (Middle Woodland), and the Mississippian (Monks Mound). He still did not give credit to the Native…

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