Myths of the Mound Builders
The first time I heard about the Mound Builders, which was in this class, these people seemed like a very primitive group. What was so exciting about having the skill of piling up a bunch of dirt. Then I was able to see some of these mounds and the scale was nothing I had imagined. These mounds were huge and also contained distinct structural shapes. Tombs, houses, and religious structures were constructed in or on top of the mounds. What made the edifices even more amazing was the time period they were built. Constructed all the way back to 3000 B.C., the mounds rivaled the most advanced engineering techniques in the world.
An interesting aspect involved with the Mound Builders were the way they were discovered and analyzed. When first discovered by the settlers of the New World, the mounds were a complete mystery. The English had refused to believe that they were built by the Native Americans. Because of nationalistic mindset the settlers possessed, they had an overwhelming sense of superiority over the Native Americans. Because of this mindset, the natives were given no credit for the construction of the mounds. Instead there were theories invented to explain the emergence of these structures, many of which were completely ludicrous. One explanation involved saying that the earthworks were made by the 10 Lost Tribes of Israel. Then divine punishment ensued when they were taken over by the white man and vanished from the Earth. As one can see, religion played a large role in impeding the truth about the true origin of the earthworks.
What intrigued me the greatest was not the physical aspects of the mounds but the story they tell. Many great minds were involved in educating the public about the significance of the Mound Builders. The mounds not only contained a scientific aspect but also contributed to the development of the human psyche. The research prompted people to realize that the Native Americans were...
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