Madison is an Indian mound capital

Madison is an Indian mound capital (HMNRQ)

Location: Madison, WI 53703 Dane County
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Country: United States of America
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N 43° 4.351', W 89° 22.897'

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The Madison Heritage Series

At least 887 earthen Indian mounds once dotted the land around lakes Mendota, Monona, Wingra, Waubesa, and Kegonsa—so many that archaeologist Charles E. Brown once suggested Madison be renamed Mound City.

Most southern Wisconsin mounds were constructed between 2,800 and 900 years ago. At first Indians shaped them into cones, and later into animal, spirit, and linear forms. Often built on high ground near water, the mounds were burial sites and probably served other ceremonial purposes.

A long-tailed water spirit and two conical mounds once stood where Wilson Street intersects Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. Water spirit mounds are sometimes called panther or turtle mounds.

Madison's wealth of mounds suggests to some researchers that even in ancient times, our city was this region's "capital."


Between 1908 and 1944, archaeologist Charles E. Brown led an effort to preserve Madison's Indian mounds. The ancient earthworks of this area are sacred to many Ho-Chunk and other Indian people. European settlement gradually destroyed about 65 percent of the mounds in Dane County, but because of the efforts of Brown and others, more than 100 remain, one of the highest concentrations in the country.
Year Placed2006
Placed ByCity of Madison
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Wednesday, October 8th, 2014 at 3:14am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16T E 306102 N 4771620
Decimal Degrees43.07251667, -89.38161667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 43° 4.351', W 89° 22.897'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds43° 4' 21.06" N, 89° 22' 53.82" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)608
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 2-14 W Wilson St, Madison WI 53703, US
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