Mound Builders


The Adena

The Adena people were the first mound builders.  They lived by the Ohio River valley from 1,000 B.C. to 200 A.D. All mound builders lived in the eastern half of the United States. It is hot and humid in the summer but delightful in fall, winter, and spring.  The mound builders lived in earthworks. The mound builders were 5 feet tall.  They came from South America and built mounds on the way. The mound builders ate buffalo, fish, and deer, corn, and squash.  The mound builders used a bow and arrow.  The Adena used burial mounds.

The most famous Adena earthwork is called the Serpent Mound.  It is 5 feet high, 20 feet across, and 133 feet long.  It’s the form of a snake.  The serpent mound is near Hillsboro, Ohio. The mound builders buried their dead with tobacco pipes, jewelry, pots, silver, and volcanic glass.


The Hopewell


The Hopewell was the second and strongest of the mound builders.  They spread their culture though trade.  The Hopewell lived between 100 B.C. to 500 A.D.   They lived throughout Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Missouri.  The Hopewell grew food like corn and squash.  The Hopewell fed more people than the Adena.  The Hopewell had a huge trade network.  The Hopewell got shells and shark teeth from Florida, pipestone from Minnesota, volcanic glass from Wyoming, and silver from Ontario.  The Hopewell built a lot more mounds than the Adena.  The largest Hopewell mound is called the Newark earthworks is in Newark, Ohio. The trade network stopped in 500 A.D.


 The Mississippian


The Mississippian lasted from 700 until the 1700s. The Mississippian is the third mound builder tribe.  They lived in the southern United States and the Mississippi valley.  The Mississippian also grew crops like the Hopewell.  The Mississippian built some of the earliest cities of North America. The Mississippian got customs from the Indians in Mexico.  The Mississippian built temple mounds like the Mexican. The Mississippian grew until 1500.  The Mississippian drew Mexican symbols.  One group survived until the 1700’s.   


Angela Willis,
May 23, 2011, 11:56 AM