Nowadays the monuments of past civilization attract attention not only of the experts in the field of archeology but also those people who are interested in history. Such monuments of past civilization can be found on the territory of different countries of the world for example, the pyramids in Egypt, Stonehenge in England, Acropolis in Greece. In the United States special attention of both the tourists and the archeologists is paid to the Mounds. (Washburn)
General description of the Mound. A Mound is a round top hillock of earth. It is known that the mounds were build in those places where the soil was soft enough for digging. The fact which was taken into consideration by the mound builders was the neighborhood of the materials for building the mounds. It is easily to find the mounds in the midst of the fertile part of the country. It proves the fact that the mound builders were agriculturists. The mounds can be found on the both banks of the Rainy River and Red River, around the Lake of the Woods and in the northwest. There are four mounds grouped together along the Rainy River, at the Long Sault. The mounds have the following dimensions: 6-50 feet in height and 60-130 feet in diameter. They may be either elliptical at the base or round. (Silverberg, 24)
Mound Regions in America. A lot of mounds have been found in Central America, in Mexico and along the Mississippi Valley starting from the Gulf of Mexico and up to the Great Lakes. About eight mounds are situated along Red River. There are also about twenty mounds on Nettley Creek and between Winnipeg and Lake Superior. (Silverberg, 16)
The First Known Existence of the Mound Builders. The term mound builders can be related to the numerous Native American tribes which lived on the territory of North America. According to some historian sources, the Mound builders cannot be called a single tribe. Different groups who lived along the Ohio River and the Mississippi River were engaged in this activity. They built various types of the mounds which represented their cultural advancements.(Garlinghouse) Nowadays it is impossible to relate the mound builders to this or that tribe. Some experts consider that these tribes faded. It is known that most of the mound builders were practicing farming. When Europeans came to America they thought that the Native Americans could not be the mound builders because of the wise culture of mound builders. This fact was used as evidence to expel the tribes of Indians from their homelands to the southwest. The highly developed agriculture and metallurgy of the mound builders cannot be connected with the development of the Native Indians. Some historians and archeologists argue that the Native Americans destroyed the mound builders. The culture of Indians was a simple one while the culture of the mound builders was a rather advanced one. The archeologists consider that there was time when a number of Native American settlements lived on the territory of North America but it is very difficult to refer them to this or that group. (Washburn)
Each group had its own religious and cultural standards. It is clear that the mound builders did not belong to a certain group. They were not homogeneous people. They belonged to different groups of people with rather advanced culture. The scholars represent the following variants concerning the origin of the mound builders:
”¢ According to Benjamin Barton, the mound builders were the vikings.
”¢ According to the other theory, the mounds were built by the ancient world immigrants: Europeans, Greeks or Chinese.
”¢ According to the Book of Mormon inhabitants, the Jews were the mound builders.
”¢ According to the theory of Moorish Science, the black people were the mound builders.
”¢ According to the theory of the Reverend Landon West, the mounds were built by God. (Serpent Mound in Ohio)
”¢ According to the theory of Lafcadio Hearn, the mounds were built by the people from Atlantis, the lost continent. (Silverberg 10)