Effigy Mounds
Administrative History
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In August 1986, I encountered a landscape that was impressed on my memory as indelibly as the shapes were impressed on the earth. It was an extensive procession of bears accompanied by a scattering of birds.

Lush with vegetation and awash with sunlight, the sounds of the Mississippi River nearby lulled me into a sense of the timelessness of the place. It was more than a final resting spot. The bears and birds and cones and lines were memorials to the dead.

I was there for less than an hour, but I understood in that short time the essence of the national monument. It was not a product of this century; it was the creation of the first in habitants. "Effigy Mounds National Monument" was simply a political affirmation of their successors' commitment to protect the earthen bears as they continued their perpetual march.

This work is dedicated to those who built the monument, centuries ago, with the faith that it would endure—

and to the archeologists, politicians, and preservationists who worked to fulfill that promise.

sketch of mound group

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Last Updated: 08-Oct-2003