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Mound Builders of North America The mound builders of North America have allured the curiosity of scholars and architects since the days of de Soto Having such a long history and being the most advanced civilization in the United States portion of North America their history vague and ancient has continued to excite scholars up until current times Mounds are scattered all over the United States as far west as the Rocky Mountains Some especially in Illinois and the Mississippi region are very impressive reaching as much as 100 feet high and covering sixteen square acres Likewise there are many very small mounds that are often mistaken for natural geographical features Mounds have been classified by scholars into three major categories effigy mounds burial mounds and temple mounds Effigy mounds are most common in the northern part of the United States near the Great Lakes and as far up as the Canadian Shield These cleverly designed effigies are remarkable in geometric precision and very impressive especially since it is so far unexplained how they were constructed The purpose for the creation of these amazing earthen artworks is also obscured hidden somewhere in the far past but it can be assumed judging by the general patterns of other ancient cultures that ancient mound building people had originally designed them for spiritual purposes Burial mounds are usually distinguishable by their cone shape and received their name from theories concerning their purpose The majority of architects agree that mounds did serve as mortuaries and that the elite were buried in them The possibility that the mounds contained human sacrifices has also been considered and many theorist that base their inferences on the similarities between the mound builders and the Mexican cultures have not overlooked this theory The temple mounds in the southern regions of the United States are famous for the pyramid-like structure and their layered construction They are comparable though not nearly as analogous in size
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