The Builders of the Mounds
Wisconsin University / Lake Mendota
Thunderbird Effigy Mound
The University of Wisconsin is located
right on Lake Mendota in Madison, WI. There are several effigy mounds
located around the lake, and this one in particular sits right on one of
the lawns of the University.
Although it is large, and the embankments
that form it are only about 2 - 2.5 feet high, it is clearly the same
shape of the picture on the monument above. Note it says that the body
is 52.5 feet long and the wings formerly spread to 133 feet.
Hang onto your seat for this video - -the
way I move the camera around in the beginning might make you feel as if
you are on a rollercoaster! (sorry! - I promise to try to do better next
Here is a list of all videos accessible from this section and concerning
the Effigy Mound Culture in Wisconsin.
1.) Water Panther (Spirit)
effigy Mound Madison, WI
2.) Thunderbird Effigy Mound- University of Wisconsin.
3.) Devil's Lake and the Legend
4.) Linear and Bear Effigy Mound,
5.) Man-Mound Effigy Mound in Sauk
6.) Alligator Mound, Licking County, Ohio
of Man-Made Mounds
Man-made mounds are mounds that were made from the ground up and fall
into four basic shapes or categories. Conical mounds, Effigy mounds,
Temple Mounds and Geometric (usually linear) mounds. Use the following
Links to learn more.
Conical Mounds - look like
pyramids except that they are rounded. They, just as the great
pyramids, were built in honor of some special shaman or king, and
are in fact burial sites for them as well.
- are shaped like animals and or spirits, and were believed to have
ceremonial, navigational and calendar-like purposes. It is known
that many of these align with the stars and could have been used to
predict solstices, and even eclipses.
Temple Mounds -
were mounds that either were man-made or "truncated" natural hills.
Structures (many times temples) were placed upon the flattened top
and were considered to be "living spaces" for shamans or their
leaders and their families.
Mounds - were usually circular, square, or linear in shape, and
were thought to have alot of the same uses as the effigy mounds, but
sometimes (like the Newark site above) were believed to be created
together to build ceremonial & observatory inside large complexes.
To learn more about the people who built the
mounds, use the following links: