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Mounds of Wisconsin - Mound Builders of Wisconsin - Effigy Mounds - Conical Mounds- Ceremonial Mounds -
Princess of Atzalan, Wi
At the center of the Princess Mound at a depth of about
4 feet below the surrounding terrain or about 10 feet
below the assumed original summit of the mound was
found the burial of  a young woman. She was perhaps
20-25 years age. The grave measured about 8 feet long
and about 3 feet wide at the bottom. The body was
found on it's back and in the extended burial position.
A museum is located today in what was the old
Aztalan Baptist Church. This is the front of the
converted church which contains many artifacts
found on the village site.
Directly behind the Aztalan Museum is an earth mound
which originally was 47 feet in diameter and probably stood
6 feet above the surrounding area. As you can see the
remains of this mound today are very small. Most of the
earth was hauled away many years ago, presumably for
filling in around the church which was built in 1852. The
site itself seems to be at a high point overlooking the
Crawfish River. Today this mound of dirt is called the
Princess Burial
"One of the biggest mysteries of Aztalan is what they did with
their dead. No cemetery has been found as yet, and the burials
found thus far are too few to accurately generalize as to their
burial methods". The Princess was verycarefully wrapped for
burial. She was wrapped in three belts of decorated shell beads
numbering over 3 thousand. As you can see, the beads were
carefully wrapped around the body: one about the shoulders,
one around the waist and the third went twice around the
lower part of the legs and ankles.
Each belt was four feet long and six inches wide. A few of
these shells came from as far away as the Gulf of Mexico. The
condition of her spinal column
indicates that she had been slightly deformed. Because of this
abnormality, she may have been looked upon with reverence as
the case with other tribes.
(Ritzenthaler, Prehistoric Indians of Wisconsin )

Note: There is a great deal of controversy concerning the
Princess today. Native Americans have demonstrated at the
Milwaukee Public Museum demanding
that her remains be returned to Aztalan for reburial. What is
your opinion concerning this?
(J. Neefe,writer)
The skeleton of the princess or prince , when found had no head. We suspect that the head belonged to a male that was not part of the original body.
It would seem that the Prehistoric city of Aztalan may be very similar to the one in Illinois.  where over 40,000 people lived harmoniously within six square
miles.
Although we don't know much about Aztalan, we can judge by the funeral attire of a priest king of the Illinois Ruins ,  that these appear to be the same
people , carrying on the same traditions.
The Illinois metropolis existed in the  American Bottoms between present-day East St. Louis and Collinsville. The people inhabited 120 sites, planted crops,
and traded with tribes as far away as Mexico. *Note Mexican Shells found on the Aztalan Princess/Priest King  (?).

They built a stockade around their settlement, a "woodhenge" to calculate a calendar, and the largest man-made earthen structure in the world - a
temple mound.

By the time white men arrived the mound builders were gone, leaving no written record and no man who remembered their name.

Four centuries later, a preliminary dig by the University of Illinois recovered the first artifacts from the Illinois  mounds. In 1925 the state of Illinois acquired
650 acres (Cahokia Mounds State Park); but the site was considered primarily a recreation area, and no serious excavation work took place until 1961.

What the archaeologists discovered left more questions than answers. The ancient people lived by agriculture and trade. Their ceremonial building
(temple? home? priest's lodge?) was atop the main mound. They  practiced rituals which included the burial of 53 young women and four headless,
handless men with the body of a chief.? priest? king? Whatever his rank, this dead man lay at rest on a blanket of 20,000 shell beads, with a copper staff
and 700 arrows near at hand. *Note the Aztalan Princess/Priest King (?) was also found headless. Nothing was given about the condition of her/his hands.

The Following is a photo we took of the ancient ruin site at Aztalan.
Not far from Aztalan is
Rock Lake where a pyramid was found under its waters.

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The Mound Builders of Wisconsin
Princess Mound of Aztalan

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