• A quiet summer walk through the Marching Bear Group of effigy mounds

    Effigy Mounds

    National Monument Iowa

History & Culture

Ellison Orr Map of Marching Bear Mound Group

Pleasant Ridge Effigy Mounds Group by Ellison Orr. Surveyed by T.H. Lewis, 1893 & Ellison Orr, 1910. (Marching Bear Group)

NPS

Historic Resource Study

Creating A National Monument

On October 25, 1949, President Harry Truman signed a proclamation establishing Effigy Mounds National Monument. The monument consisted of two areas: the Jennings-Liebhardt tract (South Unit) and the Yellow River Unit (North Unit). Sny Magill was not initially included in the monument due to land title problems. This site, however, was federally owned and thereby afforded a degree of protection.

Administrative History

Just as no one knows why effigy mound building started, no one knows why it ended. Perhaps the more flamboyant Mississippian culture, moving upriver from the south, supplanted the older Woodland lifestyle. The Mississippian culture differed considerably from the Woodland. The Mississippian culture was based on cultivation, primarily of corn, which was supplemented by gathering the resources of stream and forest. There were no significant changes in the tools the Mississippians used save for the addition of bison scapular hoes and a few other agricultural implements.

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flight

Capoli Bluff Mound Group north of Effigy Mounds National Monument

by Clark Mallam

Effigy Mounds National Monument Cultural Affiliation Report


This study is "a cultural affiliation report to aid in the development of further cultural and natural resource studies, interpretation program objectives and park management decisions." It "establishes relationships between objects in park collections, or other resources and descendants of individuals whose remains or objects are in the park." The study was completed in 2001 by William Green and Larry J. Zimmerman, along with Robin M. Lillie, Dawn Makes Strong Move and Dawn Sly-Terpstra.

Did You Know?

Marching Bear Group

In the South Unit of Effigy Mounds National Monument, the Marching Bear Group of 10 bear mounds, three bird mounds and two linear mounds represent the best preserved group of effigy mounds present today from the Effigy Mound Culture.