MOUND CITY

PAIRED MOUNDS

Near the western gateway stood two mounds, unusually close together. Two buildings once stood here: an older one, and a newer, smaller one, connected by a gallery. There were several pits and clay basins inside, suggesting it may have been the place of preparation for the more formal rituals and deposits next door.

The larger building held elaborate burials. On one low platform, four people were laid to rest in what William Mills called “a splendor of mica,” along with many precious objects. Four other platform burials were similarly marked by precious objects, now in the Visitors Center: double-headed vulture plates, an unusual copper animal headdress with movable ears, copper deer antlers, and a mica human torso – perhaps the paraphernalia of ritual performances, mythic re-enactments. This “double building” may have been a model for other larger versions at the Seip and Liberty earthworks.

Mound City

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