To its builders, this elaborate necropolis must have been a place of reverent memory, like Britainís Westminster Abbey, or the memorials along the Mall in Washington, D.C. All these mounds cover the floors and post holes of ceremonial buildings. The patterns show a variety of designs, though most often a rectangle with rounded corners.

Inside, fires burned in shallow clay basins. The ceremonies included the cremation of the dead, and objects were ritually killed (broken or burned) to be left with them. The ash and remains were swept up, and placed carefully on the building floor, or on low earthen platforms. In a final ceremony, each building was taken down or burned, and a mound was built over its remains and contents. While Mound City was in use, visitors would have seen functioning buildings here, and also those already memorialized under mounds.

Mound City



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