Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Angel Mounds and the loss of a culture

   Just before leaving Evansville, Indiana for Asheville, North Carolina I went to a historic site called Angel Mounds state park I wanted to see some of the large mounds and hills that the Mississippian Indians built. While there, I was struck by the total devastation that our natives suffered, at the hands of our conquest. These native people had an intact culture, lived in harmony with nature and now have nothing to show for it. Their culture has been reduced to wax figurines, pottery shards and ruins, which is both undeniable and haunting.
   Driving to Argentina, last year, has forever changed my view of the New World and how incredibly intelligent the indigenous people were. From astronomical calendars that span 10,000 plus years, precision architecture, advanced medicines, to extensive trade routes, the native Americans were far more insightful and complex then we give them credit. Witnessing, first hand, the massive underground aqueduct system in Peru which spans for a thousand miles, like arteries in one's body, is just one example of their many mega-structures. People just don't wake up one day and say, "Let's build an underground river." They planned it out carefully, measured the topography and worked on it for decades. Same goes for the more well known ruins, they were not spur of the moment thoughts, rather mathematically planned structures. 
   I hope each person, reading this blog, will get the opportunity to visit some of the amazing aboriginal sites of the Americas. Visiting these sites entwine emotional, historical and cultural elements, in ways that only seeing them firsthand can do.  

Somber display, of a peoples no-more.

The pottery designs are very similar throughout the Americas.

These artifacts, found at the site, were trade items from Idaho, the Gulf, and the Atlantic regions.

How the interior of the structure may have looked.

Part of the reconstructed stockade around the compound.

Example of the huts used by the Mississippian culture.

The central mound measures 400' x 200' by 40' high.

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