Sunday, June 15, 2014

Panther Intaglio And Aztalan Mounds

The Panther Intaglio, located in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, is what could be called a "mound in reverse".  Instead of a structure being raised and shaped into an effigy, an intaglio is dug into the ground, in the process being formed into a desired shape.  Archaeologists believe that the panther shape represents a water-dwelling spirit.  Two signs along a side street indicate the intaglio's location.

Here's part of the Panther Intaglio, which is next to an ordinary house.

The Aztalan Mounds are the featured attraction in a Aztalan State Park, near Lake Mills, Wisconsin.  These mounds are platform mounds, similar to those at Cahokia in Illinois.  Archaeologists believe that Aztalan might have been an outpost of the culture that was centered at Cahokia, or perhaps a rebellious offshoot of Cahokia that set up their own capitol.  To what extent the inhabitants of Aztalan were either migrants from Cahokia (or elsewhere) or indigenous to the local area is a matter of differing opinion among archaeologists.  Much of Aztalan, like Cahokia, was surrounded by a wooden stockade, part of which has been reconstructed, including this bastion.

Just beyond the bastion was the back of the largest mound in Aztalan.

Moving around to the side, we see that the mound has two levels.

Looking down to the other end of Aztalan, we see its other large mound, called the "mound of death" because of the burials found around it.

Moving still further around the first mound, we see two modern wooden stairways.  The largest mound at Cahokia, Monk's Mound, also has such stairways.

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