|The Mound Builders - The Ancient Ones- The Giants - The Men of Old - The Mound Builders - Mound Builders
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 o 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.
The Princess of Aztalan,
Wisconsin Princess Mound
|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?
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
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.