Pharos-Tribune

Columns

September 22, 2013

NEAL: Mounds leave evidence of first inhabitants

Editor’s note: This is the second in a series of essays leading up to the celebration of the Indiana bicentennial in December 2016. The essays will focus on the top 100 events, ideas and historical figures of Indiana.

Indiana’s name means “Land of the Indians.” A trip to Mounds State Park in Anderson reminds us why.

Among the first inhabitants of our state were the Adena, a hunting and gathering people who lived in east central Indiana beginning around 1,000 B.C. They left behind earthen monuments — deep ditches surrounded by embankments — that give clues to a complex society that understood astronomical events and seasonal calendars and based religious celebrations around them.

Visitors to Mounds State Park go to camp, hike, fish or swim. While there, most stand in awe at the 10 mounds and earthworks ranging from a few inches to several feet high that have been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1973.

“The earthworks at Mounds State Park are some of the best protected of any in the state, and many improvements in protection have been instituted over the years,” says the archeologist Donald Cochran, professor emeritus at Ball State University, who with a colleague, Beth McCord, conducted much of the recent research there.

“It is only one of five large earthwork complexes in east central Indiana. These five large sites as well as many mounds and other enclosures make up a cultural landscape that is unique in Indiana,” Cochran noted.

Although little is known about the daily lives of the Adena, their mounds and artifacts gave scholars enough data to generalize about these early Hoosiers. They were part of the Woodland Tradition that relied on hunting, fishing, berry-picking and cultivation of maize. They made ceramic pots and traded with other native peoples. When the Adena left they were replaced by the Hopewell, who used the mounds, and constructed more, for burial and ritual purposes. More than 300 of their ancient earthworks could once be found in east central Indiana, but today fewer than 100 remain.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • MARCUS: Tax simplification is no simple matter The governor and his select invitees to his closed tax conference last month praised simplifying Indiana’s tax code. It is an idea better loved by Americans than baseball, apple, pie or motherhood.There is no question that our national and state tax

    July 22, 2014

  • VILLAGE IDIOT: The sheer dumbness of an enormous dome There is a TV series about an entire town trapped under a giant, mysterious crystal-clear dome that appears out of the blue one day. The dome is impenetrable; no one can get in, no one can get out. Who made the dome? Aliens? God? A super-secret branc

    July 22, 2014

  • HAYDEN: Road to funding Indiana highways jammed If you’ve driven on either of Indiana’s two busiest interstates recently, you’ll understand why a blue-ribbon commission last week called for adding traffic lanes to those harrowing highways.The report, issued by the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Panel on T

    July 21, 2014

  • LYONS: When academic committees play 'police' If one believes even a significant fraction of the horror stories in the national news media, beastly male behavior has become almost epidemic on American college campuses. Tales of drunken sexual assaults and worse multiply from sea to shining sea.E

    July 21, 2014

  • CEPEDA: Hispanic women flock to the movies My family attended the first morning screening of “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” which won last weekend’s box office with a $73 million debut.According to Lucas Shaw’s recent article “Hispanic Women Are This Summer’s Most Avid Moviegoers” on the e

    July 20, 2014

  • thelma CONRAD: A true Lincoln original The Cass County Historical Society has had in its possession for many decades several documents containing the signature of President Abraham Lincoln. The society never doubted the authenticity of the signature, given the fact that most of the first

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • KNISELY: A day in the sun Every year I have my two nieces over for Misty and Me Birthday Slumber Party. The activities are always different, but the end result is always the same. It always ends with me being exhausted. Being single with no kids, my life is quiet. My life is

    July 20, 2014

  • HOWEY: A comeback saga for ‘LeBron Bayh’? This could be the saga of “LeBron Bayh.”Like a thunderhead brewing in the distance, you could see this one coming. This was the progression: former state Democratic Dan Parker announces he will not become a candidate for mayor of Indianapolis, reason

    July 20, 2014

  • WOLFSIE: Please go away already My wife is planning our summer vacation, which we will take in the fall. We took our spring vacation this summer. We got behind in 1984 and still haven’t caught up. I don’t have much input into the planning of these trips, but Mary Ellen did assign m

    July 18, 2014

  • PETERS: What antibiotics may be doing to us It’s astonishing to think about, but when my grandfather was born, tuberculosis was the number one cause of death in our country. Worse still, one in five children didn’t live to see their fifth birthday, in large part due to endemic and epidemic dis

    July 18, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

The Pence administration continues to cut Indiana agency budgets despite a state surplus of $2 billion. Is this wise management of state funds?

Yes
No
Not sure
     View Results
Featured Ads
AP Video
Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City Diplomatic Push Intensifies to End War in Gaza Obama Offers Condolences at Dutch Embassy Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Raw: Lawmakers Scuffle in Ukraine's Parliament The Rock Finds His Inner 'Hercules' Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Raw: MH17 Passenger Remains in Kharkiv, Ukraine Raw: Israel Hits Gaza Targets, Destroys Mosques Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.