Greenwood Village: Prehistoric Earthwork

In a forested area an informational sign in brown metal frame; title reads
A wayside exhibit with information about this prehistoric earthwork.

NPS / Arrye Rosser

Quick Facts

Audio Description, Historical/Interpretive Information/Exhibits

The area around this site is now deeply wooded. Yet between 500-1100 years ago, the area was once an important ceremonial site for the people we call the Whittlesey Culture. These native peoples lived in permanent villages, with fields of corn on the river bottoms below. Imagine instead of the birdcalls of the woods, the sounds of people gathering for an important religious event, perhaps singing, dancing, or chanting. Imagine digging the dirt out of the hillsides to create miles of ceremonial mounds, basketful by basketful of dirt.

This ceremonial site was first recorded and described by Charles Whittlesey around 1850. 17 years later, the site had been deeply disturbed by plowing. Please help us maintain these earthworks by staying on the trail, so other peoples after you can wonder about the life of these early inhabitants.