Encompassing most of the Mississippi River Valley from St. Paul, Minn., all the way down to southern Louisiana, on both sides of the river and north of the Ohio, mound builders were a busy group. Various names have been given to the groups responsible and time eras must be taken into account as 5,000 years separate the oldest from the newest. The questions are ‘why were they built’ and ‘why did they stop’? One needs only to look at human nature and how they perceive their importance in a society. In modern times, people judge others on their success in life. A useful gauge is just how much stuff they have. Having 3 homes in various locations is a good barometer that they did well. Cars, clothes, and credentials are also good indicators, and all possessions require money: lots of it. In the time of the early Native Americans, money did not exist. Small family groups gathered and hunted to stay alive, and that was it. Later, when farming maize, the concept of importance started to fire unused neurons and now life took on a new goal: GET IMPORTANT. Corn was a food, not a monetary device, so they wondered how to be important. Then it dawned on them: the 3rd dimension was the key. Length and width are just plain dimensions, but height brings on new importance. If you are 6′ higher than your opponent, you are very important. So, mound building began, and the chief that employed the most amount of people to build these hills could stand above everyone else with his commanding view. A misconception did arise when human bones were found in some hills. Scientists, who don’t get out much, came to the conclusion that these were burial mounds. Wrong. The bones discovered in there were from protesting workers who refused to be part of this ploy. The chief merely had these objectionists killed and threw their bodies into the dirt pile to help fill it up. This set an example. The chief just became more important because he wasn’t about to take shit from any lazy slackers.  

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